The office of the Professional Football League (LFP), the government of professional football, meets this Friday by videoconference. At a time when the leaders of French football are tearing each day on divergent, contradictory and sometimes impossible recovery plans, the latest news nevertheless inspires them with optimism.
According to our information, the leaders of the LFP took the temperature directly at the Elysee Palace about a resumption of professional sport. The entourage of the President of the Republic would have reassured them: in the current state of knowledge of the pandemic, the football clubs will be able to resume the path of training on May 11.
A return under strict sanitary conditions
At least that is what they thought they heard. Sources close to the matter, the reality is more nuanced: the Elysee Palace as the Ministry of Sports will carry the will of professional Leagues to resume May 11 but in the end, it is Matignon and Jean Castex, the "Monsieur déconfinement" of the Government, who will decide.
This return to the fields would obviously be under strict sanitary conditions: players tested daily, isolation of the sick, sessions in small groups, limitation of contact on the lawn, separate showers. Other good news came on Thursday from UEFA, which was holding its executive committee.
UEFA to issue recommendations
The latter has decided that his medical subcommittee will issue recommendations on the matter for the national leagues. This work will be led by Professor Tim Meyer, the doctor of the German selection as well as of the German Football Federation. Recognized for his skills and solidity in the industry, he has just finalized the medical protocol for the resumption of the Bundesliga. She said she was indeed ready this Thursday to resume in camera on May 9, subject to the agreement of the authorities. It would be the first major championship to return to competition. A meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Presidents of the Regions (Länder) is scheduled for next Thursday.
For the League, it will also be an opportunity to discuss screening for the disease. Pending to know if the sport will be deconfigured, the body is studying, as we revealed on Wednesday, the possibility of centralizing the purchase of 50,000 PCR tests, those which determine positive cases by nasopharyngeal sampling.
Pending the deconfinement plan
Until then informal, the discussions should be exposed to the light of day in front of the members of the office. Two options exist: either the clubs buy them or the League takes care of them. For the sake of fairness - that all teams undergo the same screening - the second hypothesis is favored. The order form should not be signed this Friday, the French government not announcing until next week its complete plan for deconfinement.
If the state gives the green light, the French Ligue 2 Championship would start again on June 16 and Ligue 1 the next day. There are ten days to go, a late match for Strasbourg and PSG, the two National Cup finals, the roadblocks between the different divisions.
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This Thursday, UEFA gave two criteria necessary to justify stopping the championships: a government order and an "insurmountable economic problem". Yet it is precisely for essentially economic reasons - to end up receiving the money for TV rights (292 million euros are still expected from Canal + and BeIN) - that French football absolutely wants to take back.