More doubt over Tour de France 2020 as French government extends sports ban

The French Prime Minister announced no sporting events can take place until at least September

Tour de France 2019 Grand Départ in Brussels, Belgium (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The doubts over the 2020 Tour de France continue as the French government has announced it is extending the ban on sporting events.

On Tuesday (April 28), French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe confirmed that major sporting events would be postponed until at least September.

While the PM made no specific mention of the Tour de France, the three week race is likely to be impacted as it is due to start in Nice on August 29.

Philippe said: "The 2019-20 season of professional sports, including football, will not be able to resume.

"It will be possible, on sunny days, to practice an individual sporting activity outdoors, obviously respecting the rules of social distancing.

"It will not be possible, neither to practice sport in covered places, nor team or contact sports."

The Tour has already been postponed from its planned start date in June because of the coronavirus crisis, but there have been concerns about the safety of holding the event later this year.

France’s top-tier football leagues will be forced to abandon the remainder of the season because of the ban, after football was suspended indefinitely on March 13.

Earlier this month, France’s sports minister Roxana Maracineanu, who previously suggested the French Grand Tour could be held without the millions of spectators, said public health takes priority over sport and that the Tour could be abandoned in 2020.

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She said: “If [the Tour and other sporting events are] not possible, it will not be the end of the world,

“It will undoubtedly be the end of many things that were supported by the revenues from these tournaments and the Tour de France. We will have to reinvent ourselves if a year is missed.

Maracineanu said the Tour de France is not a priority for the government.

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