As the European leagues plan to restart, will France regret having halted the football season?
PARIS: With the resumption of the German Bundesliga next week and other European leagues preparing to restart after the coronavirus-induced suspension, could France end up regretting the decision to end its football season?
That's the fear of Jean-Michel Classrooms , the open president of Lyon who expected Ligue 1 it could still come to a conclusion despite last week's announcement by the French Prime Minister that it cannot be restarted any time soon.
Why rush to say that it is difficult to play before August, when we do not know if other countries will have the same criteria, he told the sports newspaper L'Equipe. We should have done the political rounds for the other four major leagues.
Instead, the French league ended the season with 10 rounds of matches unplayed, crowning Paris Saint-Germain champions, relegating the bottom two, Amiens and Toulouse, and leaving Lyon seventh, denying them European qualification.
France is not alone. The Dutch season was abandoned and Belgium is unlikely to restart.
In contrast, the Bundesliga will return on May 16, while Turkey, Hungary, Croatia and Serbia have set restart dates.
Portugal is on track to resume, and Spain hopes to restart next month. The Premier League is also committed to ending the season, although the situation in Italy is less clear, even if the clubs have been given the green light to train again.
The return of the Bundesliga is great news for the football industry, said Javier Tebas, president of the Spanish League.
Speaking to L'Equipe, Aulas suggested that, in contrast, French clubs would now lose nearly 700 million euros ($ 755 million) by ending the season earlier.
I have noticed that almost 10 European countries have restarted training. So it really makes you think. By adapting our methods, we could probably have ended the season, he said.
Ligue 1 's revenue in 2018 was barely half the Bundesliga's 3.2 billion euros according to UEFA. Nor does France compare favorably with its neighbor when it comes to the coronavirus, with nearly 26,000 confirmed deaths against 7,000 - although deaths in the UK, Italy and Spain are all higher.
However, it is understandable that France can be measured against Germany. They are the two largest economies in the European Union, with the largest populations.
There have been reports that the French President Emmanuel Macron wanted the other leading leagues in Europe to follow the example of France, but the German chancellor Angela Merkel He emphatically denied that any conversation had taken place.
In Germany they are aware of the importance of soccer for the economy, and the sector employs 56,000 people. Clubs don't want to risk everything. But it is also important to get back on track for the economic survival of the clubs, said the Freiburg player. Jonathan Schmid he told AFP.
Lyon and Amiens have hinted at legal action to try to overturn the French league's decision, which may in any case have been money-motivated - Ligue 1 has a record new television deal starting next season, so needed as much certainty as possible about when the 2020-21 campaign might begin.
UEFA is determined to reduce delays to the start of next season too, but still hopes to complete the Champions League in August. That leaves Lyon and PSG in a bind, as they both run the risk of being ill-prepared by not playing since March.
PSG are into the quarter-finals, while Lyon lead Juventus 1-0 after their last 16 first leg. The Lyon women's team are also still hoping to retain their Champions League crown.
Parisian club president Nasser al-Khelaifi even suggested a novel solution if the French government does not allow its matches to take place at home.
We will play our matches abroad subject to the best conditions for our players and the safety of all our staff, he said, but that would hardly be ideal.