Top clubs fear rushing after France follows Belgium and Netherlands and cancels season


France is the last country to abandon attempts to resume its football season as fears grow among top English clubs that the Premier League will be forced to return too soon.

The French canceled their two main divisions on Tuesday after Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said there could be no football until at least September.

Dutch football made a similar decision last week at the request of its government and the Belgian season was declared over.

Premier League clubs will end season over 50 days if plans are approved

France’s decision has repercussions on the Champions League with Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon still involved.

The Premier League will take over as Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his lockdown review next week.

Even before France’s decision, club presidents in England feared that the Johnson government would force football to return to improve the national mood and boost popularity.

They fear that it will be impossible to guarantee a safe environment that will satisfy players and staff, and should express these fears on Friday when the clubs meet on video.

Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 seasons canceled after new lockout rules announced

Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 seasons canceled after new lockout rules were announced

Strong opposition is also forming against the idea of ​​neutral locations that could allow greater clinical safety but which would undermine the integrity of the competition.

Some clubs this week invited players to return to the training grounds, albeit with distance restrictions.

But the players’ union, the PFA, will demand guarantees that it is safe to train and play in a team sport.

Clubs realize that it will be impossible to address all concerns. Many players are uncomfortable with the idea of ​​being quarantined at the hotel for more than two months.

Bundesliga clubs like Bayern Munich are back in training but return may be delayed

Bundesliga clubs like Bayern Munich are back in training but return may be delayed

The difficulties in persuading squads to unite for wage cuts illustrate how difficult it is to convince a diverse group to reach agreement even in times of crisis.

Then there are broader concerns about public safety. Can the police guarantee that a large crowd will not gather to watch the games? What happens when Liverpool win the title? Will they be able to stop fans from taking to the streets?

Clubs fear it will damage the league’s reputation if it returns and doesn’t finish due to a second wave of coronavirus or an epidemic in football.

All eyes will be on Germany as they contemplate a closed-door return next month, although the Bundesliga must first get the green light from the government; a decision is expected this week.

The chief medical officer of FIFA also warned against the restarting of the seasons. Michel d’Hooghe said “as a doctor” that he would be “skeptical” about the continuation of the leagues in the midst of the pandemic.


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