Amiens considers legal options over ‘unjust’ Ligue 1 relegation

French club Amiens is considering legal action over its relegation from Ligue 1 after the season was axed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Bernard Joannin

Amiens president Bernard Joannin feels his club has been hard done by the decision to axe the Ligue 1 season with 10 games left to play.   -  Twitter @AmiensSC

French club Amiens is considering legal action to fight its “unjust” relegation from Ligue 1 with 10 rounds of matches of the coronavirus-curtailed season left unplayed.

The axe fell on the 2019/2020 campaign on Thursday with Paris Saint-Germain anointed champion, and Amiens and Toulouse dropping down to Ligue 2.

The French football league blew the whistle on the ill-fated season following Tuesday’s announcement by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe that “professional sports leagues, notably football, cannot restart” because of the pandemic.

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Amiens president Bernard Joannin said: “My first feeling is one of injustice because Amiens aren’t able to fight to the end on the pitch to remain in Ligue 1.

“Sporting equality hasn’t been respected, I find the decision unfair and my job is to defend Amiens.”

Amiens was competing in the top league for the third time in their history. The side was placed 19th, ahead only of Toulouse, when the season was suspended in mid-March, just four points adrift of third-last Nimes.

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“There were still 30 points to play for,” complained Joannin in comments made on Facebook.

He made plain he was not against the Prime Minister’s decision to end the season for the sake of public health.

“I respect that,” he said. “But where I don’t agree is the lack of humanity and injustice displayed by the professional football league (in going through with relegation). In basketball or in rugby they haven’t relegated teams,” he added.

He proposed maintaining Amiens and Toulouse’s top-flight status, and promoting the top two Ligue 2 teams for a 22-club Ligue 1 season next campaign with four clubs relegated at the end of it.

“We reserve the right to take this matter further in order that justice is done,” he warned.

Toulouse has also kept open the possibility that it might now take legal action. “We don’t know whether we will do it, it’s too early to say, but we reserve the right to go down that path,” said club president Olivier Sadran.

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