French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe has announced the cancellation of Division 1 and 2 of the French football league for the coronavirus. He said that football will not be played in the country again this season.
However no decision has been made with regard to promotion and relegation with the French Federation meeting in May to decide how best to end the season.
The Prime Minister said that “All events that bring together more than 5,000 participants cannot be held before September. This measure concerns large sporting and cultural events, including festivals, and large professional matches.”
The announcement was made despite the French LFP confirming a few days ago that the teams would return to training on May 11. The Government said that it does not approve this decision and has chosen to end the season.
Defending champions Paris St-Germain are 12 points clear of Marseille at the top of Ligue 1, with just 10 more rounds of matches left to play.
Toulouse are bottom of the table, 17 points from safety, and 10 points behind Amiens. Nimes are 18th and in the relegation play-off spot, three points behind St Etienne in 17th.
The top five sides in Ligue 2 are all separated by just four points, with Lorient and Lens currently occupying the automatic promotion spots.
Ligues 1 and 2 had planned to conclude the competitions before next August, as agreed with UEFA, but this decision by the Government puts an end to the French leagues 1 and 2.
There is now a danger that this could cause a domino effect amongst the rest of the European leagues, which had all been looking at the beginning of May as the date to return to training.
Meanwhile in England plans to resume the Premier League season are being stepped up this week in what has been labelled “Project Restart”.
Arsenal, Brighton and West Ham have already opened their training grounds to players for individual work with the league hopeful of a potential 8 June restart.
Top-flight clubs will meet on Friday to discuss options for the resumption.
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