5,000 spectators were allowed to enter the stadium for the Champions League match between Stade Rennes and FK Krasnodar. However, the fans did not comply with official regulations. The game threatens to become a superspreader.
Last season in the French Ligue 1, Stade Rennes finished sensationally third. This is the first time that the traditional Breton club has qualified for the Champions League. It is understandable that the first home game in the premier class is a holiday for the fans. But in times of the corona pandemic, much is different.
France was hit hard by the second corona wave. More than 20,000 new infections are registered every day. In the capital Paris, among others, there is a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. the next day. Nevertheless, authorities in Rennes, 350 kilometers away, under strict regulations, approved up to 5,000 visitors for the historic match in Roazhon Park, which can accommodate nearly 30,000 spectators. Fans must wear mouth and nose protection at all times and maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 meters between them.
Pyro torches, chin-height masks: Rennes fans gamble away confidently
But the supporters of the first-class newcomer have not repaid their trust in them. On the contrary. They sat close together in front of the stadium, lighting pyro torches while they waited for their team to arrive. Shortly afterwards, the majority of spectators gathered in just one of the stadium’s bleachers, many protective masks pulled off their faces at chin level or completely.
At the latest when Serhou Guirassy scored their team’s lead in the 56th minute, most supporters ignored the agreed guidelines: spectators hugged, pushed for the barriers, and cheered the goal without a mask with loud screams and chants. Even the equalization of the guests from Russia by Cristian Ramirez (59th minute) shortly afterwards did not cool the heated mood.
It is feared that the match at Roazhon Park will develop into a superspreader event, like the Belgrade derby between Partizan and Red Star in June. The football association and politicians then celebrated the eternal duel as a victory over the corona virus. But reality caught up with them just weeks later, when all of Serbia went into a second lockdown. French epidemiologists and politicians now have no more than hope that similar serious consequences will not materialize after the Rennes match.