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Amiens and Lyon threaten further action after Ligue 1 issues final table

Amiens and Lyon have both reacted angrily to Ligue 1’s decision to officially end their season on Thursday and determine final league placings, European qualification and relegation amid the Covid-19 crisis.

The 2019-20 campaign was suspended as part of the French government’s steps to contain the spread of coronavirus last month. With some teams having played 27 matches and others 28, the French league (LFP) drew up the final standings according to a performance index – number of points per game weighed by head-to-head record.

Ligue 1 Conforama
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Le classement final de la saison 2019 / 2020 ?

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April 30, 2020

That led to PSG being awarded their seventh league title in eight years, with the bottom two, Amiens and Toulouse, will be relegated. The top two in Ligue 2, Lorient and Lens, are set to replace them. Marseille and Rennes, in the top three of the points-per-game table, have qualified for the Champions League. Lille, Nice and Reims will play in the Europa League, with Lyon missing out in seventh.

“It is an injustice because Amiens could not defend until the end on the pitch to remain in Ligue 1,” the club president, Bernard Joannin, said in a live Facebook broadcast. “I’ll fight with all the teams to assert our right, because I think this decision isn’t right. We will wait for the minutes of the LFP board of directors. There will be the passage to the general assembly, and we reserve the right to go further so that justice passes.”

Lyon’s president, Jean-Michel Aulas, has said the club will seek damages as a result of missing out on European football. “It’s a big loss of opportunity with a financial value that amounts to dozens of millions [of] euros, which will be claimed in damages,” Aulas, told local newspaper Le Progrès.

Aulas added that the final standings were “illogical”, and play-offs in August would have been a fairer method. “I don’t want to single out a club more than another, but Nice played at home more than us and faced PSG only once while we played them twice,” he said.

The French sports minister, Roxana Maracineanu, said the aggrieved clubs were welcome to explore legal options but also called for restraint. “If they want to go to court, let them go,” Maracineanu told RMC Sport. “The sports movement is autonomous … This is valid for professional sport and amateur sport alike. In this situation, there are some who are content and some who are dissatisfied.

“I appeal to everyone’s solidarity and responsibility. I appeal to the wealthy and better off that they don’t split hairs … We must also think of others and society. The world must know how to take its losses.”

The new season will start on 22-23 August at the latest and is likely to be held without fans as popular events are banned until September in France.

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