Brest in the Champions League, why is it stuck


By: Manu Tournoux

PSG’s first pursuer after 23 days of the championship (out of a total of 34 events), Stade Brestois is a serious contender for the C1. But…

No, it is not Monaco, Nice or Lille – even less OM or Lyon – who at this time seem best placed to support a PSG already promised to the title in the Champions League. The first runner-up to the Parisian leader today is indeed Stade Brestois. A real candidate for the European elite when the trifecta of L1, plus a fourth thief according to the verdict of the preliminary rounds, will have the pleasure of vying for the big-eared cup next season.

Until then, of course, many pitfalls remain to be overcome; the Breton club also having quite a stone in its crampons in this capital perspective: its stadium, Francis-Le Blé. As it stands, the SB29 den cannot be approved by UEFA according to the rules for hosting major continental evenings.

Expensive developments to plan

The information comes from Le Télégramme this Thursday. The infrastructures of the Le Blé stadium are classified in category 2 – out of 4 – according to the UEFA specifications which stipulate that an enclosure must be notified in section 4 to host Champions League matches. An imperative also valid for Europa League matches.

A category 2 stadium, as far as the C1 is concerned, can only accommodate the first two rounds of the qualifiers – rounds which do not concern French clubs. And this is not a question of reception capacity since an 8,000-seat stadium can perfectly suit UEFA. In order to move up the hierarchy and reach the famous category 4, Francis-Le Blé, with its 15,000 seats, must review its lighting, its parking lots, its reception areas and in particular those dedicated to TV and media. The very structure of the stands has also been scrutinized. Expensive developments which should already alert Brest residents.

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