St Etienne close on charity goal with virtual ticket sales

PARIS: St Etienne, whose French Cup final against Paris St Germain has been postponed due to the coronavirus, are closing in on reaching their goal of raising 80,000 euros by selling one-euro tickets for a "virtual game against COVID-19" at the Stade de France.

The goal is to get to the stadium's full capacity of 80,000 and donate the funds to researchers at the St Etienne university hospital.

Some 71,000 virtual tickets had been sold on Saturday at 1200GMT, according to the club's website. The Stade de France consortium said it had bought 10,000 virtual tickets.

Les Verts reached their first French Cup final since 1982 but the game, scheduled for April 25 at the Stade de France, was postponed amid measures to contain the coronavirus, which has infected almost 125,000 people and killed more than 13,000 in France.