Horse racing in France is due to resume behind closed doors on Monday after gaining ‘ strong support from the ministers in charge of racing’.
Police have given the green light for the sport to resume at Paris Longchamp on Monday, after being suspended since 17 March due to the ongoing pandemic.
France Galop president Edouard de Rothschild tweeted: “We obtained and received from the Prefecture de Police de Paris the authorisation to resume racing on May 11. This is very good news and a real victory!”
Last week, France’s Ministry of Agriculture conditionally approved France Galop’s action plan to resume racing, matching the strict proviso of the French government’s ‘phase-1’ social easing orders.
Olivier Delloye, chief executive of France Galop, admitted that he was ‘relieved’ that racing was given the green light to go ahead.
He said: “I was very much relieved by the news we got this morning. As we already announced, we have had some strong support from the ministers in charge of racing – the ministers for finance and agriculture – so it was more a question of local areas allowing us to proceed.
“We have explained in close detail how we will race behind closed doors and we have had positive feedback from them.”
It comes as UK racing is continuing to ramp up its preparations for the sport to resume, with officials planning for a May resumption date.
Earlier this week, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) Nick Rust revealed that racing could resume within a week of being given the green light from the government. However Rust emphasised that racing can only resume once ‘it’s safe to do so’.