Coronavirus Outbreak: French players’ union defends Ligue 1's call to end season, says other leagues are taking a gamble

The head of the French football players’ union has said European leagues that decide to end their coronavirus shutdown and restart play are gambling there will be no second wave of infections.

Reuters May 25, 2020 17:51:28 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: French players’ union defends Ligue 1's call to end season, says other leagues are taking a gamble

Paris: The head of the French football players’ union has said European leagues that decide to end their coronavirus shutdown and restart play are gambling there will be no second wave of infections.

The French League (LFP) put an end to the Ligue 1 season on 10 April with 10 games remaining, handing the title to runaway leaders Paris St Germain and triggering criticism from several clubs.

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Representative image. Reuters

Olympique Lyonnais president Jean-Michel Aulas has been one of those lashing out at the LFP, labelling the decision as “stupid”.

Germany’s Bundesliga recently resumed behind closed doors, Spain’s La Liga has been given the green light from the government to re-start next month while England’s Premier League is taking steps toward resuming play based on government guidance.

“We will see in the end if we are stupid,” Philippe Piat told French sports daily L’Equipe on Monday.

“It is true that if everybody restarts, the question can be asked (why not in France?). But I don’t know in which conditions they will be playing in Spain, if other countries have been as careful as we have been.

“Here we did not have the guarantee that we would be tested regularly and we cannot favour a part of the population, taking the risk of being seen as privileged... Also, what happens if we have players testing positive)?”

Piat added that while infection rates of the novel coronavirus rates may be dropping, there is the possibility of future outbreaks.

“I have the feeling that the first wave of COVID-19 is behind us. But there’s always the question of a second wave,” he said. “Those who start again are betting on the future.”

The 2020/21 season in France will start on 22 August.

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