Close to 1,000 young people assembled to watch a football match on Thursday evening in Boveresses, a northern suburb of Lausanne, in defiance of Switzerland’s ban on gatherings of more than five people, according to RTS.
The group, aged mainly between 16 and 20, were there to watch a match between teams from the cities of Lausanne and Yverdon, according to the broadcaster.
It wasn’t clear whether the players were football club members or not. However, Gilbert Carrad, president of the Vaud football association, told RTS that he was not aware of the match.
The police, who were present until the crowd dispersed at around 9pm, said it would have been impossible to fine such a large crowd without risking the situation getting out of hand. However, they said they would be investigating the incident to find out who organised it.
The event was reportedly organised via social media, mainly snapchat. “We knew that something was being organised via social media, but the location changed several times, making it very difficult to prevent” said Antoine Golay, a spokesperson for Lausanne Police.
According to some present, other matches took place across French-speaking Switzerland. A match at Chavannes-près-Renens was mentioned.
Economically, young people have been hit hard by the pandemic. In April 2020, unemployment rose more steeply among those aged 20 and 24 than any other age group, reaching 4.4% in French- and Italian-speaking Switzerland. Compared to March, unemployment for this group was up nearly 21%. Compared to April 2019, it was up by close to 71%. A second wave of infections could have a similarly disproportionate impact on this age group.
Switzerland’s ban on gatherings of more than five people remains in place until at least 8 June 2020.