Fate of Tour de France undecided, says French sports minister

Ruben Hill
March 26, 2020

Mar 26 2020 07:47 am CET The Minister of Sports of France Roxana Maracineanu has stated that the country is considering the possibility of holding the Tour de France behind "closed doors".

The Tour de France is one of the last major global sporting events that has not yet been cancelled following the postponement of the Euro 2020 soccer Championship and the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Despite France going into a national lockdown to stem the spread of coronavirus, Maracineanu has suggested it is too early to decide on whether the Tour de France can take place as planned.

The Giro d'Italia, which was due to take place in May, has been postponed, but no decision has been taken as yet on the Vuelta a Espana, scheduled to start on 14 August.

"Everything is imaginable. We have (imposed spectator bans) for other competitions before, even though it won't have the same impact because the business model of the Tour doesn't depend on ticket sales like football or rugby", she told France Bleu radio station. Right now, we have a more urgent fight.

"Discussions are still ongoing with [organiser Amaury Sport Organisation] ASO", Ms Maracineanu said, "and it is still too early to say for sure" what will happen. "Let's put all our effort into climbing that mountain before tackling the next one". "Everyone understands that they have to stay at home, therefore watching television rather than attending any live events".

Seven stages of the race were held, with the final day's racing in Nice cancelled.

The Tour de France was first held in 1903 and since then it has only stopped during the two world wars.

More than 492,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide, with the pandemic causing the deaths of more than 22,000 people.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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