French players called to go on strike if Ligue 1 does not expand to 22 teams next campaign

French Ligue 1

Former PSG and Toulouse head coach Antoine Kombouare has called on players to go on strike next campaign if Ligue 1 is not expanded to 22 teams.

The French Ligue 1 has abandoned the 2019-20 campaign after the coronavirus outbreak, with PSG declared champions and the bottom two Amiens and Toulouse relegated.




This has drawn criticism in France with many feeling they acted rashly in calling a halt to the campaign so soon, and some sides, including Amiens and Lyon, have threatened legal action.

Kombouare has gone a step further, and called for players to take action and refuse to play in the 2020-21 season unless Amiens and Toulouse are reprieved from relegation.

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“The players and coaches must agree to strike at the start of next season if that does not happen,” he told L’Equipe .

“There will be layoffs. Even at the amateur level, it will hurt. Having players end their careers in this way is terribly unfair, and I have always hated injustice.




“Amid this suffering and concern born of this crisis, we must unite. We are not united enough. It makes me angry.”

Occupying the two automatic Ligue 1 relegation slots when the league was abandoned after most clubs had played 28 games, Toulouse were 14 points from safety having won just three matches and lost 21 this campaign.




Amiens had a better shot at survival, only four points behind Nimes in 18th, however both teams have gone down and will be replaced by Lorient and Lens from Ligue 2 next campaign.

Amiens have already confirmed they will fight the decision to relegate them to the second tier in France,  and have started an online petition to get support from fans and show the desire to restart the 2019-20 season.

A statement published by Amiens said: “This decision is for our club, all our players, coaches, administrators, volunteers and supporters extremely fraught with consequences.

“Pending the publication of the minutes of board of directors’ meeting, Amiens reserve the right to contest this decision, since sporting merit, in this particularly difficult period for all, should on the contrary have led the various decision-making bodies not to pronounce any relegation.”

JB

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