3 options to finish the Ligue 1 season & UEFA have a major Champions League problem with PSG and Lyon

2019-20 Ligue 1 is over

The awful news for French football broke on Tuesday morning.

Le Parisien publicised their inside information that French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, was about to ban any Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 matches before August 2020.

At 3 pm local time, those rumours became reality.

France are now in a similar position to Belgium and Holland.

All three countries have had their football seasons halted for the next few months due to government and health decisions.

In Belgium, they crowned Club Brugge champs. However, the Dutch decided that Ajax won’t be given the league title for 2019-20.


2019-20 Ligue 1 table

1SCO Angers00000000
2AS Monaco FC00000000
3AS Saint-Etienne00000000
4Dijon FCO00000000
5FC Girondins Bordeaux00000000
6FC Lorient00000000
7FC Metz00000000
8FC Nantes00000000
9LOSC Lille00000000
10Montpellier HSC00000000
11OGC Nice00000000
12Olympique Lyonnais00000000
13Olympique Marseille00000000
14Olympique Nimes00000000
15Paris Saint-Germain FC00000000
16RC Lens00000000
17RC Strasbourg Alsace00000000
18Stade Brestois 2900000000
19Stade Reims00000000
20Stade Rennais FC00000000
Last updated: 1 min ago


France have 3 options to finish the Ligue 1 season: PSG set to be crowned champs

So how will France resolve their 2019-20 season?

As confirmed by ESPN’s Dale Johnson, Ligue 1 have already considered three possible options for this current scenario.

They can end the season either on a (1) points per game merit, (2) according to the table in round 27 (which was the last complete round of the season), or (3) end the season at the halfway stage.

Regardless of which method is finally decided upon, PSG are set to be crowned French champs.

PSG were 12 points clear of Marseille when the league was suspended.

As champs, PSG will qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Marseille are also set to win direct entry into the 2020-21 Champions League’s group stage.

As for Rennes, they are set for Champions League participation too.

However, it’s unclear whether Rennes will start that competition in the playoffs or at the group stage.

This will be the first time Rennes have qualified to the Champions League.


What about Ligue 1 relegation in 2019-20?

Once again, Ligue 1 are a little lucky.

Whichever option they take to close up the 2019-20 season, the same three teams appear in the bottom three.

For the record, when the league stopped Toulouse were rock-bottom: 14 points adrift of even a relegation playoff.

Amiens were second bottom of the league, 4 points off the playoff.

Nimes sat in the playoff slot, while St Etienne were three points clear of the bottom three.


Which clubs are set to play in the 2020-21 Europa League?

Here’s where things start getting more complicated.

Lille, in 4th, should go straight into the Europa League group stage. But it’s unclear which other two Ligue 1 clubs will also play in that competition.

Those places are usually filled by the winners of the two French domestic cup competitions.

Before the French season ended, those finals pitched PSG vs St Etienne (Coupe de France) and PSG vs Lyon (Coupe de la Ligue).

But, it’s worth noting that the Dutch League, after scrapping their season, opted to ignore their cup competitions, handing those Europa League spots back into the league.

If Ligue 1 follow the same path, then Reims (5th) and Nice (6th) will qualify for the 2020-21 Europa League.


UEFA have a major Champions League problem with PSG & Lyon

Neither Belgium nor Holland had any clubs left in the 2019-20 Champions League when their seasons ended.

However, that’s not the case in France.

PSG have qualified for the quarterfinals of the Champions League, while Lyon only played their last-16 first leg tie against Juventus.

Just over a week ago, UEFA announced their plans to restart this season’s Champions League in August.

However, reports around Ligue 1 are that the 2020-21 season is scheduled to start in August.

This has created a fixture nightmare with no obvious solution for UEFA.


2019-20 Champions League provisional fixture dates

This is the current provisional schedule to complete the 2019-20 Champions League.

August 7, 2020

Juventus – Olympique Lyon
Manchester City – Real Madrid

August 8, 2020

Bayern Munich – Chelsea
FC Barcelona – Naples

August 11-12, 2020

Quarter-final, 1st legs

August 14-15, 2020

Quarter-final, 2nd legs

August 18-19, 2020

Semi-final, 1st legs

August 21-22, 2020

Semi-final, 2nd legs

August 29, 2020

Final (Istanbul)


Also see: Best Netflix, Amazon & YouTube football documentaries & movies to watch during coronavirus isolation

9 best football documentaries to watch on ESPN+ during COVID-19 quarantine

This article was edited by Ben Green.

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