French Open organisers not considering 'cancellation' over virus fears

Roland Garros (File)
Roland Garros (File)

French Open organisers are "studying different scenarios" but are not considering a "postponement or cancellation" of the Grand Slam tournament, which starts in May, due to the coronavirus outbreak, they told AFP on Friday.

The 2020 edition is scheduled to get underway at Roland Garros on 24 May and run until 7 June.

French authorities have decided to cancel events in confined spaces involving more than 5 000 people, but the outdoor clay-court tennis tournament is not affected by that decision.

"We are on a 13-hectare site which allows the flow of spectators to be organised very differently from football stadiums," said French Tennis Federation (FFT) director general Jean-Francois Vilotte.

Distribution of "gel and mask kits" and "cancellation of tickets for holders from affected areas" are being considered as possible measures which could be taken to "minimize the risk of contagion".

Vilotte also confirmed that the new Court Philippe Chatrier roof would not make the showpiece arena a "confined space".

"Even with the roof closed, Court Philippe Chatrier is an outdoor court," he said.

"It is covered, but there are spaces between the stands and the roof which make it not a confined enclosure."

According to the latest official reports on Friday, nine people have died of the new coronavirus in France with 577 people infected.

Last year, Roland Garros posted a record attendance of 520 000 spectators over the fortnight.

loading... Live
England 0
Pakistan 126/5 (45.4 ov)
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
44% - 5919 votes
11% - 1472 votes
19% - 2528 votes
2% - 309 votes
1% - 123 votes
2% - 305 votes
5% - 659 votes
8% - 1098 votes
3% - 419 votes
Water sports
1% - 120 votes
American sports
1% - 129 votes
3% - 388 votes