France's Ligue 1 season gets called off: Details here
France's top-flight football season will not resume after the nation banned all sporting events, including behind closed doors, until September. France has been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the 2019-20 sporting season was over. He also announced plans to ease France's coronavirus lockdown on May 11. Here's more on the same.
"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," he added.
The authorities are set to meet in May and decide upon the fate of both Ligue 1 and Ligue 2. There is still uncertainty over whether Ligue 1 will be declared null and void. A complete cancelation would mean Paris Saint-Germain would miss out on their ninth title. But if the current standing is followed, then this will be a big respite for PSG.
Defending champions PSG are 12 points clear of Marseille at the top, with 10 rounds of matches and one outstanding fixture to be played. Rennes are third with 50 points. Meanwhile, Toulouse are bottom of the table, 17 points from safety, and 10 points behind Amiens. Nimes are 18th and belong the relegation play-off spot, three points behind St Etienne in 17th.
A few days earlier, Ajax were handed a blow after the Dutch Eredivisie season was ended with immediate effect, meaning the league leaders have been denied the title. There will be no promotion to the Dutch Eredivisie or relegation from the top flight. The Dutch FA (KNVB) and clubs reached an agreement over a video conference call regarding the decision.
The Premier League is targeting a return in June this year behind closed doors. Notably, EPL has the backing of the government. Football will be played behind closed doors. The EPL, along with other sporting activities, will have to meet specific criteria before a return.