PSG willing to play UCL abroad after Ligue 1 season over
The Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 seasons will not resume after the French Prime Minister announced no sporting events, even those behind closed doors, could take place before September.
The announcement by Edouard Philippe to ban sporting events gathering more than 5,000 people until September was made as the French government revealed plans to ease lockdown restrictions from May 11.
The Premier League and other European leagues had been given until May 25 by UEFA to provide plans to restart their season.
But the French top flight has called an end to their domestic campaign, following a similar move by the Eredivisie in the Netherlands last week.
“The big sporting affairs cannot occur before September,” Phillipe said.
“The 2019-2020 season of professional sports, including football, will not be able to resume.
“It will be possible, on sunny days, to practice an individual sporting activity outdoors, obviously respecting the rules of social distancing.
“It will not be possible, neither to practice sport in covered places, nor team or contact sports.”
The French Football Federation [FFF] Executive Committee released a statement in which they called on the Professional Football League [LFP] to promptly reveal how they plan to resolve the final standings of the league seasons.
It read: “The Comex of the FFF invites the LFP to inform it as soon as possible of the sporting consequences it intends to draw from the situation to close the L1 and L2 championships and set up a project for the resumption of activities for the 2020-21 season in light of the details the government will bring in the coming days.
“The FFF will be particularly attentive to sports equity and to the economic viability of the directions that will be recommended.”
The decision also forces a premature finish to the Top 14 rugby campaign and creates uncertainty over the rescheduled Tour de France’s August 29 start date.
A sports ministry spokeswoman said: “It is too early to say (how this will impact the Tour) but for now this does not imply a postponement nor a cancellation, but it does not rule out arrangements notably in terms of number of spectators.”
No announcement is yet to be made about whether league leaders Paris Saint-Germain will be awarded the title and how European qualification and relegation will be defined in Ligue 1.
PSG are currently top of the 2019-20 Ligue 1 table with a 12-point lead, while Marseille, Rennes and Lille make up the top four, with Toulouse bottom of the table.
In Ligue 2, the top five teams are separated by four points with Lorient, Lens, Ajaccio, Troyes and Clermont all targeting promotion.
The French Professional Football League is expected to meet next month to discuss the final standings.
Both PSG and Lyon are still in the Champions League and UEFA announced earlier this month their intention to end the 2019-20 season with the final of Europe’s club showpiece on August 29.
PSG confirmed, following Tuesday’s announcement by the French Prime Minister, they would play their remaining Champions League games abroad.
The French champions qualified for the quarter-finals after a 3-2 win on aggregate against Borussia Dortmund.
Nasser Al-Khelaifi, PSG chairman, said: “We respect of course the French Government decision – we plan on competing in the Champions League with UEFA agreement – wherever and whenever it is held.
“If it is not possible to play in France we will play our matches abroad subject to the best conditions for our players and the safety of all our staff.”
UEFA’s Executive Committee will hold its next conference call on May 27, where it intends to reach a decision over whether this season’s European competitions can be completed in August.
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