Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 29 September 2020

CORONAVIRUS

PSG champions of France after Ligue 1 season cancelled

PSG topped the Ligue 1 table by 12 points from Marseille with 10 rounds left

Paris Saint-Germain are French champions for a third straight year after the football season was declared over following a league vote on Thursday.

PSG, who boast a wealth of attacking talent in Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani, topped the Ligue 1 table by 12 points from Marseille with 10 rounds left and one rearranged fixture still to play when the season was suspended in mid-March because of the coronavirus outbreak.

France has been one of the countries worst hit by the virus, with more than 24,000 Covid-19 related deaths.

The Ligue de Football Professional (LFP) also crowned Lorient as Ligue 2 champions in a conference call.

The top five sides in Ligue 2 were separated by just four points, with Lorient and Lens currently occupying the automatic promotion places.

"We have decided there would be two promotions and two relegations", Didier Quillot, the chief executive of the French League, told a news conference. It means Amiens and Toulouse will be relegated and Lorient and Lens will be promoted.

Toulouse were bottom of the table, 17 points from safety, and 10 points behind Amiens. Nimes were 18th and in the relegation play-off spot, three points behind St Etienne in 17th.

"There might be appeals but our decisions are solid," Quillot added.

Ruling out any possibility of following the lead of the Netherlands, who decided to void their season without a champion, relegation or promotion, the LFP said a final table was arranged on the basis of average points per game.

As a result, Marseille and Rennes will go into the Champions League next season, while fourth-placed Lille will play in the Europa League.

Toulouse and Amiens, the bottom two, are condemned to relegation, with Lorient and Lens coming up from Ligue 2.

The identity of the other European representatives depends on whether the finals of the two domestic cups are ever played.

Quillot said the LFP had until May 25 to tell Uefa which clubs would be qualified for European competitions.

The league's announcement comes after French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Tuesday that "professional sports leagues, notably football, cannot restart" because of the risks linked to the pandemic.

The decision to suspend Ligue 1 could provide an obstacle for Uefa, who had been looking into completing the Champions League and Europa League campaigns in August.

PSG and Lyon are still in the Champions League, with the former through to the quarter-finals and the latter holding a 1-0 first-leg lead against Juventus in the round of 16.

Updated: April 30, 2020 08:41 PM

THE DAILY NEWSLETTER
Sign up to our daily email
Most Read