PARIS: Elite sport will continue in France despite a nationwide lockdown announced by President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday, sports minister Roxana Maracineanu said.
“The coming weeks will be tough economically but also humanely. This is why I wanted to confirm to you that the continuity of the sport which is practiced as a profession is today assured,” Maracineau told a parliament session overnight.
Maracineanu's comments will come as welcome news for France's top soccer league, Ligue 1, as well as French rugby with the national side set to host Ireland on Saturday in their Six Nations finale.
The Paris Masters tennis tournament is also due to begin on Monday.
France will go back into a nationwide lockdown starting this week to try to contain the pandemic, which is threatening to spiral out of control, Macron said in an address to the nation on Wednesday.
The new measures - which come into force on Friday and will last until Dec. 1 - will mean people have to stay in their homes except to buy essential goods, seek medical attention, or use their daily one-hour allocation of exercise.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Peter Rutherford)