Football to Resume in France in July with French Cup

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Football is expected to resume in France in July contrary to the earlier pronouncement of the president of France Emmanuel Macron who said no sporting event will take place in the country until after September due to the rampaging coronavirus pandemic.

This presidential pronouncement forced the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) to cancel the league and declared Paris Saint Germain the champions using Point Per Game system. The system was used to relegate two teams – Toulouse and Amiens.

Lyon was also a victim of the system as they lost out of the opportunity of playing in any European competition next season as it left them on the 7th spot on the league table with 9 games to play.

The premature end to the league and the consequence of losing out of a European spot forced Lyon, Toulouse and Amiens to drag the LFP to court. Lyon wanted the court to make the LFP reverse its decision while Toulouse and Amiens wanted the court to urge the LFP to make the league a 22-team league in order to accommodate them and the two teams that were promoted.

The court threw out Lyon‘s suit while the court urged the LFP to have a rethink in Toulouse and Amiens’ case. Unfortunately for the relegated clubs, the 20 teams in the league met and voted that the league should remain a 20-team league.

Stade de France
Stade de France

On Friday, French Football Federation (FFF) officially received LFP and the clubs’ decision to maintain a 20-team league and the FA approved their decision, meaning that Toulouse and Amiens remain relegated.

The French FA said the French Cup final between Paris St Germain and St Etienne would take place on 24 July 2020. A week after that, the French Ligue 1 champions, PSG, will be on duty again to play Lyon in the final of the League Cup. The matches will take place in the Stade de France with 81,000 sitting capacity but the government permits for only 5,000 spectators.

“The French Cup final will be held on July 24 and the League Cup final on July 31,” president Noel Le Graet told the FFF general assembly. “Five thousand people at the Stade de France, it’s true that it’s a bit short. I’d love to get it up to 30 per cent, but I won’t make a crisis out of it if we don’t get it.”

If the matches take place as scheduled, the matches will be the first professional football that will take place in France since March. Top clubs in the country are already returning to training in a controlled environment.