icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

‘We can re-open restaurants and shops, but can’t invite spectators’: French Open boss not happy with behind-closed-doors plan

‘We can re-open restaurants and shops, but can’t invite spectators’: French Open boss not happy with behind-closed-doors plan
French Tennis Federation (FFT) head Jean-Francois Vilotte has spoken out against the idea of staging the 2020 French Open without spectators, stressing that he can promise the implementation of all necessary protective measures.

Vilotte fumed over the French government approving the re-opening of shops and cafes but banning major sporting events, where the observance of safety measures could be strictly regulated.

READ MORE: 'I don't want to be forced to take one': Anti-vaxxer Novak Djokovic speaks on fears of compulsory Covid-19 jabs

We are considering all the options, but we obviously don't prefer to play behind closed doors,” Vilotte said.

We want there to be fans, who respect protective measures. I struggle to understand that we can re-open restaurants and shops, [but] that we can't do [anything] if we're responsible for a big event like ours,” he added.

The high-ranking sports official underlined that having many tennis courts means it’s possible to fill them up while following social distancing recommendations, stopping close contact between fans.

It's not a football stadium, it's not one location. There are many courts. So how do we organize ourselves in terms of managing the flow [of people], to find the right gauge given what the health situation will be in the autumn,” he said.

Also on rt.com 'Good for the planet': Greek tennis ace Stefanos Tsitsipas calls for YEARLY lockdown

The second Grand Slam tournament of the season, Roland Garros, was set to take place in May but was rescheduled for the autumn due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The event is now set to take place from September 20 to October 4, but it still requires official approval from the French government, which has banned all sporting events until September.

Podcasts