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PSG plan to play remaining Champions League games abroad after Ligue 1 season is ended

FOOTBALL By Mirror | April 28th 2020
Soccer Football - Champions League - Group A - Paris St Germain v Galatasaray - Parc des Princes, Paris, France - December 11, 2019 Paris St Germain's Neymar reacts [REUTERS/Benoit Tessier]

Paris-Saint Germain plan to play their Champions League matches this season abroad – possibly in Qatar - after all professional sport in France was banned until September.

The cancellation of Ligue 1 today throws UEFA's plans to complete European competitions in August into disarray.

French champions PSG are already through to the quarter-finals while Lyon have still to play a second leg tie against Juventus in the round of 16.

Tuesday's announcement by French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to stop all “major sporting events, especially football, before September, even behind closed doors” threatens to disadvantage PSG and Lyon if other European leagues do re-start.

But PSG's Qatari president Nasser al-Khelaïfi said: "We respect the decision of the French government

"With the agreement of UEFA, we intend to participate in the final phase of the Champions League at the places and dates organised.

"If it is not possible to play in France, we will play our matches abroad while ensuring the best health security conditions for our players and all our staff."

With PSG 12 points clear of Marseille at the top of Ligue 1, the French league must now decide whether to void the season like in Holland and avoid no titles and see no promotions or relegation.

Ending the season will have a huge financial impact on the French game with broadcasters beIN Sports and Canal Plus having withheld the final installment of domestic television money until the season was completed.

But Marseille coach Andre Villas-Boas said: "I think the decision to stop the season is totally logical because it is too soon to re-start training.

"The most important things are health and to protect everyone."

In Italy, top clubs are at loggerheads with the government over delays to the proposed re-starting of Serie A leaving Germany as the only major nation set to return to action next month.

Spanish league chief Javier Tebas insisted there was no reason why football could not be played behind closed doors.

"In Spain, football is an important economic driver and we need to get is going again," he said.

 

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