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Rescheduled Paris marathon and half marathon cancelled

The 2020 Paris marathon - rescheduled for October after the first event was cancelled - has now been scrapped entirely, organisers have confirmed.

Rescheduled Paris marathon and half marathon cancelled
There will be no Paris marathon in 2020. Photo: AFP

The Paris half marathon was originally set to be run on March 1st but was cancelled at the last minute after all gatherings of more than 5,000 people were banned as the Covid-19 epidemic began to make itself felt in France.

The marathon was scheduled for April, but by then the country was on strict lockdown.

It was rescheduled for an autumn date, first October 18th and then November 15th, but on Wednesday organisers announced they were scrapping the 2020 event altogether to focus on the 2021 race.

 
“Faced with the impossibility for many participants to make themselves available and especially those many, coming from foreign countries and encountering travel difficulties, it was decided to give priority to the race in 2021,” the organisers of the marathon said in a press release.
 
“Alongside the City of Paris, we will do our utmost to offer you a next edition even more beautiful, worthy of the reunion of all enthusiasts with the streets of the most beautiful city in the world,” they added.
 
The half marathon, rescheduled for October, has also been cancelled.
 
 
 

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POLITICS

French minister apologises for Champions League chaos

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin on Tuesday made a partial apology for chaos at last month's Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool in Paris, while insisting fake tickets and "delinquency" were mostly to blame.

French minister apologises for Champions League chaos

“Should things have been managed better at the Stade de France (stadium)? The answer is yes. Am I partly responsible? The answer is yes,” Darmanin told RTL radio.

“Of course, I readily apologise towards everyone who suffered from this bad management of the event,” he added.

After scenes of fans crowded into tight spaces and being tear-gassed by police caused outrage around Europe, Darmanin poured fuel on the fire by blaming supporters with fake tickets for the disruption.

UEFA events director Martin Kallen last week told French senators investigating the fiasco that the football body’s count of fake tickets was far short of the tens of thousands claimed by French authorities.

“We don’t believe it’s the number mentioned in France,” he said, adding that 2,600 fake tickets were identified at turnstiles — compared with the number of 30,000 to 40,000 people with fake tickets and without tickets suggested by Darmanin.

“It was a question of fake tickets… that created the difficulties we all know about” of large crowds of fans packed into underpasses or outside locked gates, Darmanin insisted Tuesday.

He added that “if there was something that went wrong at the Stade de France, it was the fight against delinquency”, saying he had already ordered a reorganisation of policing around the venue and that three major matches since had passed without incident.

While some supporters did report being victims of crime by gangs of youths before and after the match, there were also many complaints about police treatment of fans.

Disabled Liverpool fans last week told the Senate how officers sprayed tear gas at people in wheelchairs.

The English supporters have reacted with particular fury to Darmanin’s defence of the French police’s actions.

“People’s memories will forever be tarred by the lack of organisation and heavy-handed policing, and then of course the way authorities tried to deflect blame and scapegoat Liverpool fans for their incompetence,” Liverpool mayor Steve Rotheram told AFP earlier this month.

CCTV footage from around the stadium has also been deleted despite the Senate probe.

A government report published earlier this month said a “chain of failures” by French authorities has inflicted “severe damage” on the image of the country as it prepares to host the Olympic Games in 2024.

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