PARIS: Paris’ Champs Elysee avenue will be pedestrianized on Sunday evening and wearing face masks will be compulsory, officials said on the eve of Paris St. Germain (PSG) taking on Bayern Munich in soccer’s Champions League final.
Several thousand people flocked to the famed avenue on Tuesday night to celebrate the Ligue 1 champions reaching the final of Europe’s premier club tournament for the first time after they beat RB Leipzig.
Few wore protective face gear despite a spike in coronavirus infections in France, while bars were also packed as people watched the game, sparking concern over social distancing.
Police will be deployed to the Champs Elysee and the area around PSG’s Parc des Princes stadium on Sunday night, when PSG meet German champions Bayern in Lisbon, France’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said.
“I’m calling on everyone to act responsibly to ensure (the event) can be an expression of joy and not a source of problems for Parisians,” Darmanin said.
Some PSG players also urged fans to take care.
“It’s a unique and important moment; I hope you too will respect protective measures,” defender Thiago Silva said on a video distributed by the club on Twitter.
Bayern Munich can complete only the second treble in their proud history by beating PSG in Sunday’s final to underline their status as Germany’s super club.
Bayern have cruised to the Lisbon final, scoring 42 goals in their Champions League matches.
In all competitions, they are on a 20-game winning streak stretching back to early February.
“FC Bayern is a global football club that has an obligation to play at the top internationally. That is our focus,” said Bayern board member Oliver Kahn. Since the turn of the century,
Bayern have made the knock-out stages of the Champions League 19 times, reaching five finals and winning two of them, in 2001 and 2013.
In that time, they have won the Bundesliga 15 times.
Bayern last failed to win the German league in 2011/12, when Jurgen Klopp led Dortmund to the second of back-to-back titles.
They responded in 2012/13 with the first treble in club history — Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League titles — which they can repeat Sunday.