The President of France Galop, Edouard de Rothschild, announced via Twitter in the early hours of Saturday morning that the green light had been given by President Emmanuel Macron for a resumption which, for most of Friday, seemed to have been out of scope.
In the tweet, Rothschild thanked President Macron, his Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, as well as two key intermediaries, former presidential candidate François Bayrou and the mayor of Deauville, Philippe Augier.
Rothschild said: “It was a race I wanted to win more than any other. The return to the race has been accepted. Now let’s show them that they were right! “
Change of heart
Rumors of a late challenge to the French government’s decision to authorize a resumption of an unnamed neighborhood on Monday began to circulate on Friday, which led France Galop and its trotting counterparts to issue a joint statement this evening- there, recognizing that they had been involved in discussions with the State to ensure that Monday’s meetings in Longchamp, Compiègne and Toulouse could all take place in the places provided.
French President Emmanuel Macron gave the green light to resume racing on Monday
In late April, the racing and trotting authorities reached an agreement with their government masters in the agriculture and budget departments to resume closed-door operations based on compliance with strict health regulations.
While France Galop has developed a series of emergency plans in case of need to do without their main tracks in Paris – the most serious center of the coronavirus epidemic – the news this week that the police authorities had set fire to green for racing in the capital seems to remove one of the last remaining obstacles.
But during a Thursday evening meeting of the Macron Defense Council – a French version of the Whitehall Cobra committee – the subject of the reopening of racetracks in the first wave of “deconfinement” was raised and the president would have vetoed the plan .
Some French media reports suggest that some key figures linked to professional football – which, like all team sports, are banned until September as part of the administration’s progressive program to reintegrate parts of the economy and French society – may have put pressure on the government to reconsider the race, which is under a different watch than the vast majority of the sport.
Whatever the source of Macron’s initial concern, his Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner, is preparing to instruct the prefects of each French department to prevent the reopening of the racetracks.
But after a tense and frantic day of behind-the-scenes negotiations, Rothschild was able to announce that Macron and his officials had accepted the original package for the resumption of racing and that the threat to Monday’s meetings was over.
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FIRST PUBLICATION 8:24 a.m., MAY 9, 2020