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Soccer in France will not return until at least September

Ligue 1 and 2 were looking to possibly resume play this season. Now that won’t happen.

Neymar of Paris Saint-Germain celebrates victory after the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund at Parc des Princes on March 11, 2020 in Paris, France. The match is played behind closed doors as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Photo by UEFA - Handout/UEFA via Getty Images

There were hopes that France’s Ligue 1 would be able to return at some point this summer, but those were dashed by French prime minister Edouard Philippe today. The prime minister banned all events through the end of August where at least 5,000 people could gather.

The goal was originally to resume the current season on June 17th, and have the season wrapped by July 25th, but now that won’t happen.

The government does not see the resumption of professional sport as a priority.

Newspaper L’Equipe reported that the season had been cancelled ahead of the planned announcement.

And Philippe confirmed it during his statement: ‘The big sporting affairs cannot occur before September. The 2019-20 football season cannot return.’

While it will be permissible for people to exercise outdoors after May 11, he added: ‘It will not be possible to practice sport in covered places, nor team or contact sports.

‘If the (health) indicators are not there, we will not end confinement on May 11.’

Gatherings will also be limited to just 10 people as part of the new rules.

France is one of the “Big Five” leagues in Europe, but has been dominated by Paris St. Germain of late. The domestic giants have won six of the last seven titles, and were 12 points atop the table with a game in hand and 10 rounds remaining at the stoppage of play.

France is in the process easing their lockdown, but will only do so if less than 3,000 new cases per day of Covid-19 are discovered.