Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 Will Not Resume this Season

In France, the two top professional leagues, Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, will not resume action this season.

This comes after the French government banned all sporting events, including those behind closed doors, until September.

The French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, has announced plans to begin easing the country’s lockdown on May 11.

But that announcement has brought no relief for football fans. Football has been indefinitely suspended in France since March 13.

Could the season be abandoned?

As things stand currently, it remains unclear whether the Ligue de Football Professional (LFP) intends to abandon the season.

That would mean no promotion or relegation, and there being no champions for the 2019/20 season.

The alternative will be to determine the outcome of the season on current standings.

Paris St-Germain are currently 12 points clear of nearest challengers Marseille at the top of Ligue 1.They have 10 rounds of matches and one game in hand to still play in the current campaign.

Down at the bottom of the table, Toulouse looked doomed. They are 17 points from safety as things stand, and 10 points behind the team immediately above them in the table, Amiens.

Nimes are in 18th place in the table, occupying the relegation play-off spot. St Etienne are three points ahead of them in 17th.

Lorient and Lens currently occupy the promotion places in Ligue 2.

Voiding the season not an option – reports

Reports in France suggest, however, that voiding the season is not being considered, and that three options are being weighed up as to how to resolve matters.

There are also implications for European competition. PSG are in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and it remains unclear what the shutdown means for their hopes of winning the competition.

UEFA had previously stated that it aims to complete the Champions League in August.

In France, no events with more than 5,000 people in attendance are allowed to take place before September.

The Tour de France, cycling’s premier event, has been moved from August 29 to September 20, for example.

The chairman of FIFA’s medical committee, Michel D’Hooghe, a Belgian, has cast doubt on whether any matches can take place at all while social distancing remains in force.

“I am very sceptical about matches even starting again. In Belgium we have to remain 1.5metres between two people, but how can players do that on the pitch if they are marking each other at a corner or tackling each other?” he told The Times.

“There is also a risk of fans coming together to watch a match even if it is behind closed doors. One must be very careful but I also know from experience that if there is a balance between health and economics in football, then economics usually wins.”

The leagues in the Netherlands and Belgium have also opted to terminate their seasons.

TV deals are believed to be the main driving force behind leagues making plans to start up again.

Some English clubs have opened their training grounds for individual work with players, while the German Bundesliga is set to resume behind closed doors on May 9.

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