“It won’t be possible to do sport in covered areas, nor practice team or contact sports,” said France’s Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Tuesday.
“Events gathering more than 5,000 participants cannot be staged until September.”
And so were shattered the hopes of the French Football league which was due to make a return on June 17, 30 days after the lifting of lockdown in the country which for last 6 weeks have gone through suffocating restrictions.
Now the teams will not be able to vie for UCL qualification and 15m euros attached with it as the things see an uglier turn. Nobody had ever thought about the suspension of the topflight and then there came the episode of unwanted bickering between Lyon President Jean-Michel and fellow Marseille President, Jacques-Henri Eyraud.
Aulas proposed last season’s ranking charts should be used to determine next season’s UCL berth but his counterpart Eyraud contested the claim. Lyon made a 3rd place finish in 2018-19 whereas Marseille were out of European tourney after ending 5th in domestic league. And guess who was 7th and who had secured second place when the season suspended.
The deadlock is now likely to be broken through a general assembly vote of France’s professional clubs. In all the three possible scenarios proposed by LFP working group, the current top four would stay save and will make it to UEFA’s prestigious European tournaments as they will fulfill the sporting merit. PSG and Marseille would qualify for UCL’s group stage with Rennes entering the R3 of qualifiers.
Lille at fourth will be heading to Europa League qualifiers. However, going by the Europa League results that came from domestic up competitions, the teams finishing 5th and 6th in the league will have definitely have a dispute but Lyon Reims, Nice, Nantes and Montpellier will be eligible.
Meanwhile in other turn of events, the third promotion and relegation place normally determined through play-off will not be done that way this time around. Topflight lagers Toulouse and Amiens will be demoted with L2 toppers Lorient and Lens taking their place.
Paris Saint-Germain hope’s for UCL skewered despite clinching their 9th Ligue 1 title as they finished 12 points clear to tie Marseille’s tally of nine French League crowns. But the Parisians also wanted to equal the arch-rivals in another way, by becoming second French side to conquer UCL.
After faring good against Borussia Dortmund to reach the quarters of the European tourney for the first time in four attempts, Paris Saint-Germain were looking good. With a performing Neymar, who rose the occasion against Bundesliga giants and was supported by the outstanding forms of teammates Kylian Mbappe and Angel di Maria, the team looked formidable and hungry. Also, for the first time since Qatar Sports Investments took control of the club in 2011, they looked promising to clinch the most decorated European crown.
“If it’s not possible to play in France, we’ll play our matches abroad,” PSG chief executive and Chairman Nasser Al Khelaifi said of the Champions League on Tuesday.
If UEFA is able to stage remaining fixates, Thomas Tuchel would have to do some serious work in order to shape his men mentally and physically for the five upcoming battles against top-grade oppositions with the fact that they have not tasted competitive soccer for a long time. If the other leagues resume their business, PSG would have no choice but to cope with the disadvantage.
“This stoppage raises other problems, one of which is decisive, the economic one,” said Marseille boss Andre Villas-Boas who, while hailing a “logical” decision by the government, added soberly: “The survival of the clubs depends on it.”
The money is a very compelling issues to French more than anywhere else in the world. The current TV rights deal is due to expire with a lot to lose after a suspended season. Most of the sum clubs were eyeing – over 200m euros – now looks highly unlikely to be received amidst the suspended season.