French top flight football competitions Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 won’t be able to resume this season after Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said no professional sports leagues will be allowed at least till September due to coronavirus restrictions. Also Read - Athletes Allowed to Self-Nominate as Ministry Extends Deadline For National Sports Awards
“The 2019-2020 professional sports leagues, notably football, cannot yet restart,” Philippe said during a televised address to French parliament on Tuesday. “I would like to be precise here, no large sports gathering or any gathering of 5,000 people or more, needing the permission of the local police and long prior arrangements, will be allowed before September.” Also Read - National Competitions Should Resume From October, no Contact Sport Till There's a Vaccine: Narinder Batra
“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. Also Read - Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar Tests Positive For Coronavirus, Contact-tracing on
The announcement will also impact Tour de France which had been rescheduled to get underway from August 29 and is likely to attract huge crowds.
The latest development effectively ends French football’s governing body’s hopes of resuming the season from June 17 and complete the campaign by July 25.
Defending champions Paris Saint-Germain are the current leaders, with a 12-point lead over second-placed Marseille.
However, there’s still no official decision on whether the season will be declared null and void meaning no champion and, no promotion or relegation.
“We respect of course the French government decision – we plan on competing in the Champions League with Uefa agreement – wherever and whenever it is held,” PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi said after the announcement. “If it is not possible to play in France we will play our matches abroad subject to the best conditions for our players and the safety of all our staff.”
The European leagues will have to inform UEFA by May 25 whether they plan to complete or cancel their respective football seasons.