French football and other sports will not resume before September: PM Philippe

French football and other sports will not resume before September: PM Philippe


French professional football, rugby and other sports competitions will not be permitted to return before September, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Tuesday, commenting that their 2019-20 seasons seemed to be over. 

In May, the French football league is expected to decide how to finish the Ligue 1 season, which presently has 12 points leading Paris St Germain at Olympique Marseille. The season 2020-2021 was due to commence in August.

“To give event organisers visibility, I want to make it clear that major sporting and cultural events, in particular festivals, major trade fairs, all events that bring together more than 5,000 participants and are therefore the subject of a declaration at the police headquarters and must be organised well in advance, cannot be held before September,” PM Edouard Philippe said.

France has the fourth-highest death rate of the virus in the world, behind the USA, Italy and Spain. The soccer authorities also hoped that their season would resume in June. 

PM Philippe didn't directly mention the Tour de France, which was said to be postponed to August 29-Sept by the International Cycling Union (UCI) early this month. 20 Due to the outbreak, from its initial date of June 27. 

It wasn't clear exactly whether the Tour, the world's largest annual cycling competition, will start without spectators or if it would be pushed back a few days longer.

The ministry of sports and organizers of the tour were not available for comment, while the UCI was unable to contact. 

The timetable of the Tour would affect other major cycling events, as the UCI has said in a updated calendar that the Giro of Italy and the Vuelta of Spain will follow. 

The spread of the latest coronavirus has stopped all major European football leagues, and none have yet resumed.

When the government extended a ban on public events to Sept. 1, the Dutch announced their football season over. The Eredivisie said that no championship will be awarded and no relegation or promotions will be made-a move strongly criticized by some of the clubs concerned. 

The European football body UEFA gave the leagues a deadline of 25 May to remind them of their intentions to restart their domestic competitions. The German Bundesliga, the Italian Series A and the English Premier League have all said they intend to end their seasons.

Photo: French supporters cheer and wave French national flags during the UEFA League football match between France and the Netherlands at the Stade de France stadium.