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Monday, 08 March 2021

Sports in France not among government priorities

AP , Thursday 23 Apr 2020
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French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu says the resumption of sporting events in the country is not among the government's priorities.

France is locked down until May 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic and speculation has increased recently as to whether the country's soccer league could resume in late June.

Maracineanu says ``what's certain is that sports won't take priority in our society.''

The Tour de France cycling race has been rescheduled to start Aug. 29 and end Sept. 20. The final day coincides with the same day the rescheduled French Open tennis tournament is to begin.

Maracineanu was speaking in an interview with Eurosport television on Wednesday night. She says leagues could potentially start in September or have their remaining games canceled altogether. There are 10 league games left to play in France's top two soccer leagues. Rugby's Top 14 league has reached the semifinal stage.

Public gatherings are banned in France until at least mid-July but Maracineanu says they could be extended until ``at least September.''

Maracineanu is a former Olympic swimmer. She says ``it wouldn't be the end of the world'' if the Tour de France has to be canceled.

UEFA has postponed next year's women's European Championship soccer tournament to July 2022.

The UEFA executive committee decided the new dates for the 16-nation tournament in England will be July 6-31.

The switch was made after UEFA and the IOC decided last month on one-year postponements for Euro 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics. Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden will play in the women's soccer tournament at the Olympics.

Wembley Stadium in London will stage both the men's and women's European finals.

UEFA says the rescheduled women's tournament will retain the same 10 stadiums. It opens with England playing at Old Trafford in Manchester.

A decree issued by the Hungarian government allows most professional sports clubs and soccer teams to cut the salaries of players and other personnel like managers and trainers by up to 70%.

The decree signed by Prime Minister Viktor Orban says the wage cuts can be implemented for as long as the state of emergency declared because of the coronavirus pandemic remains in effect.

Hungarian lawmakers approved a state of emergency on March 30 without an end-date. That gave the government the right to rule by decree on issues related to the pandemic for as long as it considers it necessary.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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