Coronavirus Pandemic: The latest news on Sport in France

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

On 11 May 2020, France is expected to announce some easing, in certain phases and regions, of the strict lock down measures currently in force in the country.

However, according to a shock announcement made by the French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, on 28 April 2020, namely, that the 2019-2020 sporting season in France is over.

All sporting events, including football, as well as those events to be held behind closed doors, are banned until September. However, even then it is not certain that sport will be back to ‘normal’ in France.

The French Football Governing Body – the French Football Federation (FFF)  – had hoped to resume the season on 17 June and end on 25 July 2020.

It is not yet known whether the football season will now be abandoned without any promotions or relegations or whether the outcome of the season will be based on the current standings of the clubs in the Leagues.

Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the chairman of Paris St Germain, who are top of the French Ligue 1, stated:

“We respect of course the French government decision – we plan competing in the Champions League with UEFA agreement – wherever and whenever it is held.”

And added:

“If it is not possible to play in France we will play our matches abroad subject to the best conditions for our players and the safety of all our staff.”

Of course, whatever happens, it will be a financial disaster all round!

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘ian.blackshaw@orange.fr’