France’s Ministry of Sports has ordered that football matches should no longer be played on May 5, the date of the 1992 Furiani stadium disaster.

However, it added that the measure will only apply when May 5 falls on a Saturday.

“When May 5 is a Saturday, no football match will be organised at national, professional or amateur level,” said a Ministry of Sports statement.

It added that “each year, on May 5, a tribute will be paid by all football clubs on national territory,” in the form of a minute’s applause or silence, the wearing of armbands and the reading of messages of remembrance.

In reality, the measure will rarely be applied, with May 5 falling on a Saturday just three times in the next 20 years.

And the move may not totally appease Corsicans and Ligue 1 club SC Bastia, who have for some time been lobbying to stop matches being played on May 5, regardless of the day of the week.

The Furiani disaster occurred on May 5, 1992. Eighteen people were killed and thousands injured when a temporary stand collapsed prior to the French Cup semi-final between Bastia and Marseille at the Corsican club’s Stade Armand-Cesari in Furiani, a commune neighbouring Bastia. – Agence France-Presse

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