French draw line under amateur game, but leave opening to complete Ligue 1, 2 and women

French Federation

April 17 – French amateur football won’t return this season, the French Football Federation (FFF) announced on Thursday. The fate of both Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 and the women’s top flight continue to remain in doubt. 

On March 13t, French football was paused following French president Emmanuel Macron’s decision to impose a nationwide lockdown to combat the outbreak of the coronavirus. Following Macron’s decision this week to extend the lockdown until May 11, the FFF has decreed that amateur football, including the women’s game and futsal, must be abandoned this season.

The FFF wrote that champions, and relegated and promoted clubs will be determined by their points in league tables as of March 13, with the notable exception of the third division and the women’s topflight. In the ‘National 1’ stakes are high as promotion entails ascension to professional football and in the women’s first division the championship and European tickets are still up for grabs. The federation implied that it remains hopefully that play can resume in June.

The fate of France’s top two leagues, Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, similarly remains up in the air. The LFP has previously said that it intends to finish the season by June 30. The game’s shutdown plunged French football into an unprecedented crisis as both Canal+ and BeIN Sports held back TV rights payments, worth a combined €152 million.

France has been one of the hardest hit countries in the world following the coronavirus outbreak. The country has reported 147,000 confirmed cases and 17,920 virus-linked deaths so far, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1601087634labto1601087634ofdlr1601087634owedi1601087634sni@o1601087634fni1601087634