France's Ligue 1 And 2 Seasons Are Cancelled...

The 2019-20 season in France has been cancelled after the prime minister Edouard Philippe announced football games – even behind closed doors – will not be allowed before September.
Last week, the French Professional Football League (LFP) announced plans for Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 to resume on June 17, with UEFA setting a deadline of August 2 for domestic leagues to be completed.

However, it was announced on Tuesday afternoon by Philippe that the return of games will not be authorised before September, even behind closed doors, as part of the next stage of their lockdown plans beyond May 11.

The government does not see the resumption of professional sport as a priority.

Newspaper L'Equipe reported that the season had been cancelled ahead of the planned announcement.

And Philippe confirmed it during his statement: 

The big sporting affairs cannot occur before September. The 2019-20 football season cannot return.

While it will be permissible for people to exercise outdoors after May 11, he added: 

It will not be possible to practice sport in covered places, nor team or contact sports.

If the (health) indicators are not there, we will not end confinement on May 11.

Gatherings will also be limited to just 10 people as part of the new rules.

The LFP are planning to meet in May to decide on how the tables for this season should be defined and which teams will be promoted and relegated.

They will also decide who will be given European places at the same meeting and if PSG, who are 12 points clear at the top, will be crowned champions.

PSG, Marseille and Rennes occupy the Champions League spots in Ligue 1, while Lille would be set for a place in the Europa League.

It was reported last week that the LFP are categorically against voiding the season and therefore those placings are likely to be used to decide European qualification.

Nimes, Amiens and Toulouse are in the relegation zone – with basement boys Toulouse a huge 17 points off safety.

In Ligue 2, Lorient and Lens are in the automatic promotion spot but there is a gap of just four points between the team top of the league and Clermont in fifth.

Football's resumption has been viewed as secondary to matters involving tourism and catering in France.

The news comes as it emerges that PSG players have rejected a pay cut, with wage negotiations stalling between the board and the dressing room.

The president of the French scientific council on coronavirus, Jean-Paul Delgraissy, was completely against the resumption of football in the near future.
French prime minister Edouard Philippe announced no games until September on Tuesday
French prime minister Edouard Philippe announced no games until September on Tuesday

He said:

The answer for the moment is no, since all the places where there can be a significant public will not be open from May 11.

We give ourselves a few weeks. We are watching what is happening.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin and general secretary Theodore Theodoridis have spoken to leagues in Europe, including Ligue 1 and the Premier League, and asked them for a detailed plan on how they will finish the campaign.

A statement from European football's governing body said: 'National Associations and/or Leagues should be in a position to communicate to UEFA by May 25, 2020, the planned restart of their domestic competitions — including the date of restart and the competition format.

Elsewhere in Europe, the Bundesliga in Germany has announced plans to return to action on May 9 behind closed doors while conversely the Eredivisie has been cancelled with major events in Holland banned until September due to the coronavirus outbreak.

But the Belgian leagues have delayed a further vote on cancelling their season despite being the first country to announce they would end the campaign. 


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