RESENDING COMPLETE SCRIPT
VIDEO SHOWS: FANS CHEERING ON ST ETIENNE TEAM, PARIS ST GERMAIN FANS, VOXES ON COVID-19 MEASURES, STADIUM
SAINT-DENIS, FRANCE (JULY 24, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
1. ST ETIENNE FANS CHEERING
2. EXTERIOR OF STADIUM
3. DISINFECTANT BEING GIVEN TO SUPPORTERS
4. PEOPLE GOING THROUGH GATES
5. (SOUNDBITE) (French) ST ETIENNE FAN, SEBASTIAN DONNET, SAYING:
"We, in France, we did not have the championship, but we have our place in the final, we have our place and a few supporters, there you go. I hope it will get better gradually and then, we will find our way back to normal, because we miss soccer."
6. ST ETIENNE BADGE
7. ST ETIENNE FANS JUMPING
8. ST ETIENNE FANS CHEERING
9. VARIOUS OF ST ETIENNE FANS HAVING DINNER AT OUTDOOR CAFE
10. (SOUNDBITE) (French) ST ETIENNE FAN, PASCAL RICCI, SAYING:
"We are privileged, and somewhat disappointed, because there are thousands of spectators who could come, who cannot take advantage of the exceptional event. I think, whether it's the Parisians, or the Stephanois (St Etienne fans) -- 40,000 people are missing on each side, it's a shame, the party is ruined."
11. MBAPPE SHIRT/ PARIS SAINT GERMAIN SCARF
12. PARIS ST GERMAIN FANS GATHERED
13. (SOUNDBITE) (French) MEMBER OF THE PARIS ST GERMAIN DISABLED ASSOCIATION, GILBERT CHARRON, SAYING:
"It's true that it's nice when there is an audience. But here, with COVID-19, we must not play with people's health. It's true that it's not the same - well, a closed-door match and a closed-door match are not the same, but oh well."
14. FANS GATHERED
15. PARIS ST GERMAIN FAN PUTTING ON MASK
16. PSG FAN WALKING THROUGH GATE
17. PSG SUPPORTER RECEIVING DISINFECTANT ON HIS HANDS
18. SOCIAL DISTANCING LINES ON GROUND
19. EXTERIOR OF STADIUM
STORY: Sebastian Donnet and his fellow St Etienne fans on Friday (July 24) were experiencing a sensation almost no European soccer fan has felt for months: queuing outside a soccer stadium in anticipation of watching a competitive top-flight match from the stands.
"We're privileged," said Donnet, as he waited to go into the Stade de France ground in northern Paris, holding a flag in the green colour of his club, St Etienne.
Top flight teams in Europe's biggest soccer leagues, in Germany, Spain and England, are playing to empty stands with no fans allowed inside because of the COVID-19 epidemic.
In France, the regular top flight season has already been cancelled because of the virus, but Friday's final of the Coupe de France -- French soccer's knockout competition -- was allowed to go ahead.
And supporters in Paris on Friday were making the most of a French government ruling that crowds of up to 5,000 people can gather in outdoor venues.
France has previously held soccer matches in front of fans during the epidemic, but they have been friendlies. Friday's game, pitting St Etienne against Paris St Germain (PSG), is the first top-flight competitive game.
(Production: Yiming Woo, Clotaire Achi)