News ID: 271450
Published: 1236 GMT July 13, 2020

'Victory for French football' as fans return and witness 9-0 PSG rout

'Victory for French football' as fans return and witness 9-0 PSG rout
ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP

PSG’s Neymar takes the corner-kick during a friendly against Le Havre at the Stade Oceane in Le Havre, France, on July 12, 2020.

Paris Saint-Germain routed second-division side Le Havre in a friendly on Sunday remarkable not for the 9-0 score, but because it drew the biggest crowd for a match in one of Europe's 'Big Five' football nations since early March.

The French government relaxed the health protocols before the weekend to allow for a total attendance of 5,000, including players, journalists and staff, at games and while the match at Le Havre was not the first to be played, the others involved only lower-division clubs, AFP reported.

For the game at Le Havre, the tickets, priced between €30 and €60, sold out in six minutes.

"It is a victory for French football, sport in general," said outgoing Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu who was at the match.

"I am delighted that football in France can resume in a popular way, with more people in the stadiums. It is the only country in western Europe to be able to do this."

Unlike Germany, England, Italy and Spain, France abandoned its league season in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, but when the other four countries resumed their leagues, they did so behind closed doors.

Although social distancing rules were in place, fans took a few liberties once they were in the 25,000-capacity Stade Ocean on Sunday.

"It's a bit like a return to normal life, even if there are some drastic conditions," said Johan Vattier, president of Les Barbarians Havre, the club's biggest supporters group.

"We don't give a damn about PSG, this match is first and foremost a way to get back together with our mates!

"We want to start next season with fans in the ground."

On the field, Neymar and Mauro Icardi each scored twice and Kylian Mbappe once before PSG made 10 changes leading 5-0 at half time.

Pablo Sarabia, with two, Idrissa Gueye and Arnaud Kalimuendo scored in the first 15 minutes of the second half to complete the rout as PSG started to warm up for a busy few weeks in late July and early August.

PSG is due to play Saint-Etienne in the French Cup final on July 24 and Lyon in the French League Cup final on July 31 before resuming its Champions League campaign away to Atalanta on August 12.

Both French finals will be at the 80,000-seat Stade de France in Paris.

Maracineanu said the attendance limit would be reviewed on July 18 and would consider adjusting the limit so it was proportional with the size of the stadium.

 

 

 

 

   
KeyWords
 
Comments
Comment
Name:
Email:
Comment:
Security Key:
Captcha refresh
Page Generated in 0/3949 sec