The 2019-20 Ligue 1 season in France has been cancelled after the prime minister Edouard Philippe announced football games, even behind closed doors, will not be allowed before September.
Last week, the French Professional Football League (LFP) announced plans for Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 to resume on June 17, with UEFA setting a deadline of August 2 for domestic leagues to be completed.
However, the French government has announced that the return of games will not be authorized before September, even behind closed doors, as the government does not see the resumption of professional sport as a priority.
‘The big sporting affairs cannot occur before September. The 2019-20 football season cannot return’ Philippe said.
While it will be permissible for people to exercise outdoors after May 11, he added: ‘It will not be possible to practice sport in covered places, nor team or contact sports.
‘If the (health) indicators are not there, we will not end confinement on May 11.’
One of the big questions that will arise from today’s announcement is how will this affect the Ligue 1 clubs who are still in the Champions League?
Olympique Lyonnais for example are up against Juventus in the Round of 16 and were scheduled to head to Turin leading 1-0 from the first leg before Daniele Rugani became the first Serie A player to test positive for COVID-19.
If the Champions League is concluded in August, will Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain be allowed to compete on neutral turf?
The LFP will meet in May to decide on how the tables for this season should be defined and which teams will be promoted and relegated.
They will also decide who will be given European places at the same meeting and if PSG, who are 12 points clear at the top, will be crowned champions.
PSG, Marseille and Rennes occupy the Champions League spots in Ligue 1, while Lille would be set for a place in the Europa League.