FFF confirms French season has...

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FFF confirms French season has been ended by COVID-19

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

06:35 28 Apr 2020


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The French Football Federation (FFF) have have confirmed that their league season is over. 

 

Earlier today, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced an extension to the ban on major sporting events - even behind closed doors - to the end of August. 

French football league officials are holding an EGM tonight to discuss Philippe’s decision. 

The Ministry for Sport said this evening that “at this stage”, and barring a major deterioration in the health situation in France, leagues “may consider ending their season in August, or in September, if they decide."

However, the FFF have taken direct action.

In a statement, they say the measures set forth by Philippe do not allow for the resumption of leagues suspended since March 13.

They directly control the Women's D1 League, as well as the men's Championnat National (third division), and both have been brought to an end.

The FFF's executive committee will also ask the LFP, which looks after Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, to inform them as soon as possible "of the sporting consequences it intends to draw" for the 2019-20 season.

When play was suspended, Paris Saint-Germain led Marseille by 12-points with eleven games to play.

Marseille and Rennes occupy the other Champions League places, with Lille holding an 8-point advantage over Reims in the race for Europa League football.

At the other end of the table, Toulouse appear destined for Ligue 2 as they are 14-points from safety with ten games remaining, while Amiens occupy the other automatic spot and Nimes in the playoff.

In Ligue 2, Lens and Lorient occupy the automatic promotion places.

The FFF say they will make a decision "soon" regarding the staging of the French League Cup and French Cup finals.

 

PSG on tour

Any ending of the French season could also complicate matters in Europe, with PSG through to the Champions League quarter finals.

Their president Nasser Al-Khelaifi says they'd be open to playing their remaining home games abroad if necessary.

He said this evening, "We respect the French government’s decision. In agreement with UEFA, we intend to participate in the final rounds of this season’s Champions’ League at the time and place at which it will be organised.

"If it is not possible to play in France, we will play our matches abroad with the assurance that we will place our players and all our staff in the best possible health conditions."

EPCR determined

With three clubs remaining in the Heineken Champions Cup, and seemingly unable to play until September, it casts fresh doubts on the potential completion of the competition.

However, the EPRC remain fully committed to seeing this season's European competitions to a conclusion.

In a statement to the Irish Independent, European rugby chiefs say, "Having noted the directive regarding the staging of sporting events in France, EPCR remains committed to making every effort to conclude the knockout stages of the 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup season subject to official advice and with the health and welfare of players, club staff, match officials, supporters and the wider rugby community in mind.

"EPCR will now consider this latest development with its league and union shareholders before deciding if further comment is required at this time."


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Coronavirus Covid-19 France Heineken Champions Cup Ligue 1 Nasser Al-Khelaïfi PSG Paris Saint Germain Top 14

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