After five months of absence, the champions League returns Friday night on the grounds and the small screen. Olympique Lyonnais faces, in Italy, the Juventus of Turin for the 8th finals of the european competition. A return awaited by the fans, and the bars that broadcast the game, even though the atmosphere may be quite different.Illustration of a retransmission in a bar of a football match, on November 13, 2017 (photo illustration). (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE / AFP)
There will be “a friendly atmosphere like that every game of the OL”. Tomy, the manager of the brewery The Republic to Lyon already knows that the 8th finals of the champions League between Juventus Turin and Olympique Lyonnais Friday, August 7, will fill his bar’s supporters : “All the big matches of the OL, we are expecting a lot of people.” As for all meetings of the lyon team, the bookings are open in the establishment. There were only three or four tables available Wednesday, about a dozen seats out of the 150 proposed.
A crowd identical to that of the final of the League Cup, a week ago. The atmosphere, however, is not comparable to the night of games pre-Covid. “The audience was a bit more reserved”, recognizes Tomy, but for an action or a goal “the supporters are always there to yell”. In the end, “there are people standing up in the least”, he explains. Difficult to eat with the mask mandatory on the face. The health rules will be applied, as every night in the brewery, including the meter of distance between each table and the direction of flow.
The parisian bars in the waiting
For Kevin Heredia, the evening will happen far away from the bars. This member and communication officer of Handi Sup OL, an association that brings together about 150 supporters of the OL in a situation of disability, will watch the match from home. “For health reasons, we try not to gather”, he explains. Kevin, however, was present at the Stade de France for the final of last Friday : “to Be 5 000 in a stadium of 80 000, it’s funny. It is limited to the ambience of a championship game lover but you must follow the instructions and hope that it passes quickly.”
Being a person in situation of disability, it is already complicated in normal times but I prefer not to take risk. If it is in the euphoria and bonded to each other this is not good.Kevin Heredia, a member of the Handi Sup OLà franceinfo
The absence of fans risk to be felt in parisian bars. The Paris Saint-Germain plays on Wednesday, August 12, against Atalanta Bergamo in the quarter-finals of the european competition. “We don’t know what it’s going to give”, says Anna, head of the Kanon Bar, a pub sports near the Arc de Triomphe in the 17th arrondissement. A few regulars, however, have already called to find out if the place playing the game, which will be the occasion, visible from outside on the terrace. “We expect to see”, continues Anna. The uncertainty associated with the holiday period. In the middle of August, the capital empties out. Usually, a match of the champions League represents the”biggest party, “she says, with a turnover more important than the other nights.”
“It is a special time”, confirms Taylor, manager and head of marketing for the bar of the O Sullivans in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris. In addition to falling in full vacation week, the lack of foreign tourists fond of these european meetings should be felt. The game nights together “full world” to the usual in the Irish Pub located in the Grand Boulevard station. For the PSG game against Dortmund, played behind closed doors just before the establishment of the containment, the bar, the two-storey “was filled with more than 200 people”. Taylor keeps hope for Wednesday night. “It was almost the same atmosphere”, that prior to Covid for the final of the League Cup as the manager claims, despite a hundred customers in less.
A subscription to “out price”
A few metres away, the Corcoran”s, another Irish Pub, but with an optimism less shared. The evenings football “were very calm compared to the crowds before the sars coronavirus”, tells the story of Karim, the manager. He hopes to “return to normal” for the new school year. The television screens broadcast the friendly match between PSG and Sochaux on Wednesday 5 August. Only two clients attend the meeting. Matthieu and Fabien, 33 and 31 years respectively, are both fans of the parisian club. These originate in the Yvelines, not far from the camp des loges in Saint-Germain-en-Laye where does the club have already made several trips including to Istanbul, Manchester, and Naples.
It is safe, we are not going to miss the match.Matthew, a supporter of the PSGà franceinfo
“We missed almost no game”they say, but for Wednesday night it will be separately. Fabien leaves to Nîmes for a family vacation in the beginning of the week. “I even tried to shift, rigole-t-il, one is not to three days”. It’s going to take “just for the game” a subscription to RMC Sports. The chain has the exclusive rights to the champions League. To access it, you must pay 20 euros per month. “Out of price”, exclaims Fabien. According to him, the cost of subscriptions to watch football on tv “is a scandal”. It will miss however the game under any circumstances. “And if there is an outage or a network problem ?”, request Matthew chambrant his friend. Fabien replied to him direct : “I do bar hopping to see it, I’m not going to follow it to the radio as when I was a kid.”