COVID-19: Big Blow For Osimhen, Others As Pandemic Forces Cancellation Of French League
Hopes of still seeing the likes of Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen and Simon Moses return to complete the suspended French Ligue 1 2019/20 season are effectively over.
This follows the announcement on Tuesday by French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe that no sporting event would take place until at least September in the country.
Speaking while unveiling France’s plans to exit the present lockdown, Mr Philippe said all sports would remain prohibited in the coming months.
“Big sporting events will not be able to take place before September,” Mr Philippe said. “The 2019-20 season, notably for football, will not be able to resume.”
The decision by the French government has put paid to the ambition of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2’s hopes of returning to training in May for a targeted mid-June resumption.
Disappointment for Osimhen
Osimhen in the past days on his social media handles had been expressing his desire to return to action as soon as possible.
Though he is in his debut season, he has taken France by storm as the Nigeria international is presently tied on 13 goals with Brazilian superstar Neymar.
Osimhen is the leading foreign goal scorer in Ligue 1 with the three players ahead of him; Kylian Mbappe, Ben Yeder, and Moussa Dembele all French players
This decision also puts further pressure on UEFA regarding the Champions League after Paris Saint-Germain secured their place in the quarterfinals, while Lyon lead Juventus in their round-of-16 tie.
The Professional Football League (LFP) and French Football Federation (FFF) will now have to decide how to deal with the question of promotion, relegation and European qualification concerning the top three tiers of French football, as well as the potential restart of football in August.
This is the second big league in Europe that has been outrightly cancelled owing to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Wave of uncertainties
A few days ago, the Dutch League, the Eredivisie season was cancelled with no promotion or relegation and no title awarded.
A number of Nigerian players also play in Holland just as it is the case in France.
In the coming days, there is uncertainty on whether more leagues will be cancelled or a procedure will be worked out for resumption.
June 8 has been reported as a potential start date for the Premier League while the Italian football federation (FIGC) is also eyeing around that time with teams set to resume training on May 18.