French Football League

Ligue 1 Season Over But No Relegation, Court Rules

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The highest administrative court in France has ruled in favour of relegated Ligue 1 clubs.

The judgment is coming on the heel of declaring PSG as the winner of the league after the French Government postponed all sporting activities in the country till September to avoid another spike in coronavirus cases. France currently has over 155,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases. 71,506 patients have recovered while 29,296 have died. Globally, over 7 million cases have been recorded, with over 404,000 deaths.

The league governing body, French Football League (LFP) as a result of the government’s decision canceled the league in April and declared PSG winner on a points-per-game basis. Also, Ligue 2 sides Lorient and Lens were promoted,  while they confirmed the relegation of Amiens and Toulouse.

But the court in its ruling said the two clubs would not be demoted as the league ended early than planned due to the pandemic.

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However,  the French top-flight’s bottom two clubs  could still end up being relegated because the State Council ordered that the LFP re-examine its structure of the top two divisions.

Meanwhile, the court order could potentially lead to a 22-team Ligue 1 for the 2020-21 season, with Lorient and Lens already promoted.

Lyon, which is in search of the Champions League football, was also part of the appellants, Amiens and Toulouse. Les Gone ended 7th with 40 points, nine points adrift of the 4th place team, Lille. There were still ten more games to finish the season before it was declared close. Amien occupied the 19th spot with 23 points, four-point adrift od Nimes and Dijo occupying the 17th and 18th spots respectively while Toulouse was at the bottom of the log with 13 points.

As a result of the points-per-game system, Lyon will be missing out on European qualification. 

Third-bottom Nimes won’t be joining Toulouse and Amiens. In normal circumstances, the team finishing 18th in Ligue 1 usually battle for survival in the top league with a play-off against a Ligue 2 side to decide who plays in the top flight the following season.

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Reacting to the ruling, the LFP in a statement said it would follow the court order by examining the structure but is delighted that it supported its cessation of the league in the interest of all parties involved.

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