The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) have announced their plans to resume the 2019-20 Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 seasons on June 17, while waiting for a decision on whether or not games will be played out behind closed doors.
French football’s top two divisions were suspended indefinitely on March 13 amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has disrupted the sporting calendar across the globe.
However, Lockdown measures have been introduced by the government to contain the spread of the virus in France, with the public forced to self-isolate and also practice social distancing.
National publication L’Equipe published a report last week saying authorities were aiming to complete the current campaign by July 25, with all clubs scheduled to play once every three days which may begin from either June 3 or June 17.
The proposal received huge criticism from the co-president of the National Union of Professional Footballers Sylvain Kastendeuch, who warned of the risk of injuries thatvplayers could face if they are unable to recover properly between games.
However, the LFP have confirmed their intentions in an official statement, which reads: “The bureau of the board of directors unanimously voted on April 10 for] the resumption of the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 championships to finish by July 25, and a commencement on August 22 and 23, 2020 of the 2020/2021 season. This provides for a restart of the 2019/2020 season on June 17, 2020.
“The LFP is now awaiting the deconfinement procedures that the government will announce at the end of April, and in particular the conditions under which the matches could be played behind closed doors.
“The LFP is also awaiting UEFA’s recommendations, which will be presented to its executive committee on April 23, as well as the Champions League match calendar.
“Last but not least, the LFP asked the medical commission of the FFF [France football federation] and the representative of the doctors on the board of directors of the LFP to develop a health and medical protocol for resuming training.
“Since the start of this crisis, the LFP and all the players in football have placed health as the top priority.
“In this context, the LFP has always scrupulously followed the instructions of the government, and works in collaboration with the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of the Interior to study the best conditions of the recovery guaranteeing first of all the health of all the actors as well that sports equity and the economic sustainability of professional football.”