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The 2024 Olympics could kick the Tour de France out of Paris

To prevent the police from dispersing during the Paris 2024 Olympics period (July 26-August 11, 2024), the summer cultural and sports calendar should be turned upside down, with in particular a possible arrival of the Tour de France in Nice, as the Minister of Sports Amélie Oudéa-Castéra mentioned on Tuesday.

The puzzle has been known for a long time. The juxtaposition of large-scale sporting or cultural events, such as the Tour de France whose arrival is judged on the Champs-Élysées or the Ligue 1 football which traditionally resumes at the beginning of August, with the Olympic Games in Paris during the summer 2024, necessarily requires adjustments.

Asked about France Info on Tuesday, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra released one of the scenarios under study, evoking a “slightly early” arrival of the Tour de France and “rather in Nice” in 2024, to avoid a “dispersion of the forces of the ‘order’. A small revolution because since its third edition in 1905, the Grande Boucle has always arrived in the capital.

“A hypothesis among others”

But if nothing has yet been officially decided, the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi told AFP “that for several weeks his teams have been at work alongside those of Amaury Sport Organization (ASO)”, which manages the Tour , “in order to study the conditions for the arrival of the 2024 edition of the Tour de France in Nice”.

“We have excellent relations with the city of Nice, which has been very solid in 2020 (as the city of the Grand Départ when the Tour was postponed in September due to the pandemic)”, for its part explained to the AFP the director of the Tour Christian Prudhomme.

“We are discussing a number of things with the town hall of Nice,” he added without further details.

Nice or not, the cohabitation of the Olympics and the arrival of the Tour seems in any case unthinkable in the capital.

This year, the Tour de France arrived on July 21 in Paris, five days before the opening ceremony of the Olympics in two years. Clearly too short a period of time. The mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo also estimated in an interview granted on Sunday that “the question of the absence of the Champs-Élysées on the Tour (was) not taboo”.

“We know that Paris will not be able to host the two events at the same time”, confirms a source at the Paris City Hall. “We don’t see how it would be possible, but for all that, we are not giving up on the Tour, we are discussing with Christian Prudhomme to find the solution with the least possible impact”.

At the same time, as President Emmanuel Macron also raised in an interview with L’Équipe, the dates of the Tour could also be postponed. The State, according to him, is also working to ensure that “all the cultural or sporting events that take place during this period, such as the Tour de France for example, take place either before or after, so as not to mobilize the forces of the order”.

“11,000 police officers a day”

The question of the mobilization of the internal security forces is a major challenge for these Olympics which will be held in two years. There are also risks of a possible lack of private security guards at this time.

“We will need 11,000 police officers a day. To succeed in securing (the sites) the police must not do anything other than take care of the security of the games, ”recalled the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin on RTL on Tuesday.

The Tour should not be the only sport affected. In football, for example, the dates of the Olympics could coincide with the organization of the Champions Trophy which traditionally opens the season, or with the first days of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2.

Although it is still too early to set up the competition calendar, which is usually completed a few months before the start of each season, the Professional Football League (LFP) has this problem in mind and plans to integrate the Olympic Games constraint into its calendar, we say from a source close to the football authorities, for example by avoiding to schedule matches deemed “at risk” during this period. A similar reflection has already been carried out for the period of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

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