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France cancels 2019/2020 football season after coronavirus outbreak persists

By Monsuru Olowoopejo

Weeks after suspending the football league over an outbreak of coronavirus pandemic, the France football management is set to cancel the 2019/2020 league on Tuesday, to prevent further spread of the virus in the country.

French football bosses will reportedly meet in May, not to perfect Ligue 1 restart in August, but to determine whether to enact promotion and relegation as well as which teams can qualify for next season’s European competitions.

It was gathered that restarting sport anytime soon is seen as infeasible by the country’s government, following French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe’s planned announcement later in the day of no sporting events, even behind closed doors, until August as the country continues to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Like several other European countries including the UK and Italy, French sides had hoped to return to training in May with a view to completing the season in June.

The August deadline expected to be set may still allow Paris Saint-Germain to finish their Champions League campaign with the capital club already in the quarter-finals before a touted return of the competition that month.

PSG are also 12 points clear in the Ligue 1 title race and it remains to be seen whether they will be rewarded for their efforts.

Marseille and Rennes sit in the other two Champions League qualification spots, ahead of Lille and Reims in the Europa League places.

Uefa have asked leagues to come up with their own plans to award European qualification places on “sporting merit”, meaning a full table completed on points-per-game or even a round of play-offs.

The vast majority of clubs still have ten games left to play in addition to the Coupe de France final, between PSG and Saint-Etienne.

Nimes, Amiens and Toulouse occupy the Ligue 1 relegation spots, the latter having won just three of 28 games all season.

In Ligue 2, a tight promotion race has Lorient leading Lens before Ajaccio, Troyes and Clermont Foot sit in the three play-off positions – the top-five altogether separated by just five points.

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