Jean-Michel Aulas believes the Ligue 1 season should be finished through play-offs after the 2019-20 season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jean-Michel Aulas believes the Ligue 1 season should be finished through play-offs after the 2019-20 season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced that no sporting events will be allowed to take place until September and confirmed that there is no possibility of Ligue 1 resuming before then amid the ongoing fight against coronavirus, with France still in a state of lockdown.

“The big sporting affairs cannot occur before September,” he said in a national assembly on Tuesday. “The 2019-20 professional football season cannot return.”

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Aulas, however, believes that behind closed doors games, played on a one-off basis, could allow the season to be played to a conclusion.

UEFA have previously said they want all domestic league seasons concluded by August 2, and that qualification for continental competitions next season should be based on “sporting merit” rather than any other arbitrary reasons.


Aulas said: “I read carefully what UEFA said, they wanted us to go all the way to the end of the competitions, even if we might have to play on a reduced format and in August.

“So, I think there is an alternative way which would consist of supplementing this end of the championship with a series of play-offs for the top and for the bottom which would take place in August, perhaps even in July behind closed doors.

“Do not rush. I tell myself that, perhaps, in the deconfinement rules that have been proposed, there is still room to finish the championship.”

When coronavirus brought Ligue 1 to a halt, Lyon were seventh in the table with 10 games of the season still to play.

That would mean they miss out on qualifying for European football for the first time since 1996, with PSG, Marseille and Rennes currently occupying the Champions League spots, while Lille are set to secure a place in the Europa League.

PSG look set to be crowned Ligue 1 champions for a third successive year, having opened up a 12-point lead over Marseille at the top of the table.

It has been reported that the LFP is unwilling to consider declaring the season null and void, meaning Nimes, Amiens and Toulouse are all now facing relegation from the French top flight.

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