The French football league is expected to formally end its season after calling a board meeting on Thursday afternoon, sources told AFP, clearing the way for Paris Saint-Germain to be declared champions again.
The crisis meeting follows this week’s announcement by the French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, that “professional sports leagues, notably football, cannot restart” because of the risks linked to the coronavirus pandemic. Large gatherings remain banned until September with more than 24,000 people having died from the virus in France, one of the highest death rates worldwide.
“The league is following government directives, and the government has decreed that the leagues be stopped,” explained one board member, who added that “the season is finished”.
Now the LFP must decide how to determine the final standings in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, with various media reports suggesting that will be done on average points per game. That may only be formally decided at a General Assembly of the league at a later date but, if agreed, it will confirm PSG as champions for the seventh time in eight years.
The season was suspended in mid-March with 10 rounds of matches remaining in the top two divisions. PSG were top, 12 points clear of Marseille at the time and with a game in hand. Marseille and Rennes would also go into the next Champions League, with Lille in the Europa League.
The identity of the other European representatives depends on whether the finals of the two domestic cups are ever played, but Lyon – seventh in the table when the season was stopped – risk missing out on European qualification for the first time in over two decades. If promotion and relegation are maintained, Toulouse and Amiens would go down with Lorient and Lens coming up to the top flight.