French stadiums are set to reopen for fans on July 11, although a maximum of 5,000 spectators will be allowed in line with ongoing restrictions imposed by COVID-19.

The top tier of French football, Ligue 1, has already ended its season due to COVID-19 but the finals of the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue are still scheduled to go ahead at the Stade de France in Paris.

Dates for the two matches have not been set but the easing of restrictions by the French government would seemingly pave the way for a limited number of fans to attend the finals. The ruling would also allow French football fans to attend pre-season matches ahead of the start of the 2020-21 campaign on August 22.

The government said that a further review of the “national epidemiological situation” would be carried out in mid-July to determine whether a further easing of restrictions would be feasible for the second half of August.

The Coupe de France final will see Paris Saint-Germain take on Saint-Etienne, while PSG will face Olympique Lyonnais in the final of the Coupe de la Ligue. The Stade de France has a capacity of 80,000.

Meanwhile in Japan, the Nippon Professional Baseball league and the J-League football competition are set to allow fans into stadiums from July 10.

Japan’s baseball season resumed behind closed doors last week, while the J-League is due to restart on July 4. Match attendances will be capped at 5,000 or 50 per cent of the stadium’s capacity – whichever is smaller.

The NPB and J-League announced the plans at a joint press conference earlier today (Monday).

NPB commissioner Atsushi Saito said: “We must fully consider the current situation … but we have received word from government officials that we can declare that we will let spectators in form the 10th of next month.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has already forced the postponement of this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in the Japanese capital of Tokyo.

Image: Zakarie Faibis