Roland Garros chiefs still hope for 5 000 fans

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
French Open
French Open
PA/Supplied

French Open chief Guy Forget on Thursday insisted that he still hopes to welcome 5 000 spectators each day to the tournament despite government plans to limit crowds to 1 000 in new steps to combat the coronavirus.

"We still hope to have 5 000 spectators," said Forget, just three days before the delayed Grand Slam event starts at Roland Garros.

"We have not received any notification at the time I speak to you from the government or the police headquarters.

"For the moment, we are on this limit of 5 000. Discussions will take place in the coming hours."

Roland Garros was pushed back by four months from its traditional May-June slot as coronavirus figures surged.

Organisers had hoped to see 20 000 fans each day but that has since been cut to 11 500 and then 5 000 before government health officials demanded a further reduction to 1 000 as cases of Covid-19 began to increase in a number of 'red zones' in the country.

Forget believes, however, that the nature of the Roland Garros complex will work in the tournament's favour.

"We are able to accommodate 5 000, as small as it is, on a 12-hectare area," he added.

"Even if we must remain extremely careful, we have all the guarantees so that this tournament takes place in maximum security conditions.

"We are responsible, but all this must be done with the approval of the government."

He added: "We stage the tournament on the equivalent of 15 football fields, outdoors. Everyone wears a mask, even the ball boys and girls and chair umpires."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
42% - 8979 votes
Cricket
11% - 2328 votes
Football
19% - 4097 votes
Athletics
2% - 529 votes
Boxing
1% - 191 votes
Cycling
2% - 499 votes
Golf
5% - 1046 votes
Motorsport
9% - 1819 votes
Tennis
3% - 727 votes
Water sports
1% - 198 votes
American sports
1% - 267 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 680 votes
Vote