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French football wrestles with coronavirus riddle

Published : Tuesday, 7 April, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 210

PARIS, APRIL 6: The coronavirus pandemic is creating a puzzle for French football and, for the moment, those in charge have no idea what the answer might be.
The idea of simply declaring the season over is gaining ground in some quarters but others remain strongly opposed to the suggestion.
The top-flight and second division have already been suspended for three weeks, with 10 rounds each to play, and many of the leading voices are no longer insisting it should finish "whatever the cost."
"There are more uncertainties today," Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas, an early advocate of ending the league and basing European qualification on last season's final placings which would put his seventh-placed team in the Champions League, told L'Equipe on Sunday.
He added the chances of "finishing all the matches (are) lower".
His counterpart at Brest, Denis Le Sant told the same paper "the season could not start again".  
Amiens president Bernard Joannin, whose side are 19th in the table, agrees.
"Denis Le Saint has a very humane position that places the health of all above everything else. It's a view that's shared by a lot of people in the world of football," Joannin told AFP.
"You have to understand that the only commander is COVID-19. Unfortunately, it sets the agenda."  
Others were outraged.
"We hope that the league will finish if it's possible. It really bothers me to see in some people a kind of shame that football wants to come back to life at some point," Pierre Wantiez, general manager of Ligue 2 Le Havre, told AFP.     -AFP

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