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Ligue 1, Ligue 2 Won't Complete 2019-20 Season amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2020

PSG's Neymar, right, controls the ball by Montpellier's Vitorino Hilton, center, and Arnaud Souquet during the French League One soccer match between Paris-Saint-Germain and Montpellier at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Saturday Feb. 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Christophe Ena/Associated Press

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced Tuesday the remainder of the 2019-20 football season in the country, including Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 play, "will not be able to resume" because of the coronavirus pandemic.

ESPN's Julien Laurens and Jonathan Johnson provided comments from Philippe about sports as he laid out potential plans to end the months-long quarantine because of COVID-19.

"Big sporting events will not be able to take place before September," Philippe said.

Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 were tentatively hoping to resume training in May and matches in June. The decision also raises questions about the availability of French clubs Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon should the Champions League resume.

PSG reached the quarterfinals, and Lyon was in the middle of its round-of-16 matchup with Juventus when sports throughout Europe were halted.

French leagues will also face questions about promotion and relegation.

The Dutch Eredivisie became the first major European league to cancel the remainder of the term Friday, stating no champion would be crowned and it wouldn't feature any promotion or relegation for next season. Those decisions drew criticism from clubs and players.

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Ligue 1 is reportedly considering three options for how to present the final table: points per match, the last matchday fully completed or how the standings looked at midseason:

Raphael Honigstein @honigstein

These are the three options under discussion for determining the final table in France, according to RMC. Voiding the league is not one of them. https://t.co/AGeK93cwRc

Earlier Tuesday, Simon Evans of Reuters reported UEFA has set a May 25 deadline for European leagues to make a final decision about the rest of the 2019-20 campaign so it can begin its preparations for next season's club tournaments.

Even if all of Europe's leagues cancel the rest of the term, Ligue 1 will have to delay the start of the 2020-21 season since it would typically kick off in August and Philippe has canceled major sporting events until at least September.


Bleacher Report's David Gardner interviews athletes and other sports figures for the podcast How to Survive Without Sports.

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