UEFA’s plans to finish the Champions League are thrown into disarray after France cancel their season and ban all sporting events until September… with PSG and Lyon still in the competition
UEFA are facing up to the prospect of another huge Champions League headache after the Ligue 1 season was cancelled and all sporting events were banned in France until at least September.
With PSG and Lyon still involved in the competition and UEFA planning to complete it by the end of August, the move by prime minister Edouard Philippe means that both clubs will be unable to play any fixtures on home soil going forward.
PSG are through to the quarter-finals after coming from behind to knock out Borussia Dortmund in the last-16, while Lyon still have the second leg of their tie with Juventus still to play after football was shut down due to the coronavirus crisis.
Neymar (left) celebrates with Marquinhos after scoring against Borussia Dortmund in March
UEFA had planned to delay the restart of the Champions League in order to give Europe’s top leagues the opportunity to finish their domestic seasons.
Ligue 1 had been scheduled to restart on June 17, but on Tuesday it was announced that the season would be ended with immediate effect. PSG, who were 12 points clear at the top of the table, are likely to be crowned champions.
The move to ban all games – even behind closed doors – means that Thomas Tuchel’s men and Lyon will be unable to play any other European games at home this season.
A neutral venue is likely to be used for the home leg of PSG’s quarter-final tie, providing the competition maintains its usual format when it restarts.
Lyon, meanwhile, were due to take a 1-0 lead into their last-16 second leg against Juve following a hard-fought win over the Italian champions on February 26.
More to follow.