The Malherbe de Caen stadium had invited several VIPs in the stands for the 32nd final of the Coupe de France against PSG (0-1) on Wednesday, despite the curfew and the current health measures.
The Michel-d’Ornano stadium did not sound quite hollow on Wednesday night during the 32nd final of the Coupe de France between Caen and PSG (0-1). Despite the closed session decreed since October for professional sports matches and the curfew from 6 p.m., several people were seated in the boxes of the stadium. The VIPs were quickly spotted by making themselves heard by all the other people authorized to attend the meeting (staff, journalists, etc.).
Local and regional elected officials would have been recognized in the middle of this embarrassing gathering in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. The club has also apologized in a press release. “The Stade Malherbe Caen regrets the image returned by the invitation of partners and supporters of the club during the French Cup match SM Caen-PSG intended to thank them in a difficult economic context, explains the text. Since the beginning of throughout the season, SM Caen shows the greatest exemplary nature and will step up its vigilance to continue to apply the strict health rules. “
Pickeu admits having “wanted to make a gesture”
The Prefecture of Calvados demanded “detailed explanations” from the Norman club, relates Le Parisien, which has obtained some from Olivier Pickeu, president of the club.
“We arrived at the club at the end of September and we had never been able to thank the partners who did not let us go in the midst of the pandemic, the leader justified himself. So, yes, we wanted to make a gesture. But we had taken a lot of precautions already by having all the dressing rooms and changing rooms disinfect via a robot.In addition, it was in an open air dressing room, called Le Salon des Etoiles, and we had asked for social distancing which was respected . “
According to witnesses, this was not always the case and the wearing of the mask was only partially respected by some of these particular spectators. The guests gathered in particular to listen to the president’s speech before the match. The latter minimized this gathering by arguing that it only lasted about thirty seconds.
Caen is no exception. Since the establishment of the closed session, several French clubs have granted themselves some freedoms by inviting some of their partners while trying to maintain a certain discretion. Which was obviously not the case on Wednesday in Ornano.