French gov’t calls off football, rugby leagues

first_imgPARIS (AP):The French football and rugby leagues will not complete their matches this season after the government called them off amid the coronavirus pandemic.France are set to come out of lockdown on May 11, but the government banned all major sporting events until September.“The 2019-20 season of professional sport, notably football, won’t be able to resume,” French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said yesterday.France’s top two football divisions have 10 games remaining in their seasons. Rugby’s top 14 league had reached the semi-final stage. It had initially been forecast that football matches could potentially resume in late June, in empty stadiums and with a strict medical protocol in place.But the president of French football club Toulouse, who are last in the first division, applauded the government’s decision.“Football emerges as the winner,” Olivier Sadran told sports daily L’Equipe’s website. “The country is suffering in terms of health and will start to suffer economically. It would be very badly thought of to break away from that. The politicians took the right decision.” DECISION ON LEAGUE STANDING The French football league, or LFP, is expected to meet in mid-May to decide on the league standings. Leader Paris Saint-Germain are 12 points ahead of second-place Marseille, who hold the last position for automatic entry into next season’s Champions League.Third place goes into the qualifying rounds, with Rennes one point ahead of fourth-place Lille.Toulouse and 19th-place Amiens are in the automatic relegation slots, with Nimes in 18th place – which normally leads to a relegation-promotion play-off with the team third in division two (Ajaccio).PSG have reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League, while Lyon beat Italian champion Juventus 1-0 at home in the first leg of their last-16 game, but have not played the return in Turin.It was not immediately clear how the cancellation will affect PSG and Lyon playing in Europe’s elite club soccer competition. DETAILS TO BE PROVIDED UEFA has given leagues until May 25 to provide details on how and if they can complete their season. Germany’s Bundesliga wants to restart within weeks and England is trying to complete the Premier League by getting under way again in June.Javier Tebas, the president of the Spanish league, questioned the decision to scrap the French league’s remaining games.“I do not understand why there would more danger in playing football behind closed doors, with all precautionary measures, than working on an assembly line,” he said. “If important economic sectors cannot restart, in a safe and controlled manner, they could end up disappearing. That could happen to professional football. In other countries teams are already training, that’s the example to follow.”If the end of lockdown in France is confirmed, people will be able to exercise freely but individually and with certain restrictions, like social distancing, kept in place. People will not be able to exercise in locations with closed roofs “or take part in collective (team) or contact sports”, Philippe said.He also said events with more 5,000 people, like “big sporting and cultural events”, will not take place before September.last_img read more

Devastated Ade sorry for red mist

first_img0Shares0000LONDON, England, November 18 – Tottenham Hotspur striker Emmanuel Adebayor has apologised for being sent off in his side’s 5-2 thrashing by Arsenal in the north London derby.Having given Spurs an early lead at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, the former Arsenal striker was shown a straight red card in the 18th minute following a wild, two-footed challenge on Santi Cazorla. Arsenal fully exploited their numerical advantage, quickly drawing level through Per Mertesacker and then racing into a 4-1 lead with goals from Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Cazorla.Gareth Bale replied for the visitors before Arsenal winger Theo Walcott completed the rout in injury time.“I completely understand my sending off changed the entire outcome of the game and I whole-heartedly apologise to my team-mates, the manager and all the Tottenham fans for letting them down,” Adebayor told British newspaper The Sun.“But I must stress that my challenge was not malicious in any way whatsoever.“I was genuinely trying to win the ball and probably stretched my foot out a bit too far in the heat of the moment.“Nobody could have felt more devastated than me as I walked off the pitch.“I so much wanted to help Tottenham win and thought for a moment that I’d actually set that win up when I scored, but football changes so quickly.“One minute a hero, the next a villain.”Tottenham coach Andre Villas-Boas admitted that referee Howard Webb made “the right decision” to dismiss Adebayor and said that he would not be punishing the Togolese forward.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more