Amiens joins Lyon in taking Ligue 1 appeal to top French court

Lyon and Amiens will challenge the decision to end the Ligue 1 season early because of the COVID-19 before the Council of State, France’s highest administrative court.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas   -  AFP

Lyon and Amiens will challenge the decision to end the Ligue 1 season early because of the coronavirus pandemic before the Council of State, France’s highest administrative court, a club source said.

The club criticised the April 30 ruling made by the French league (LFP) to declare the season over following an announcement by the government that football could not restart because of the health crisis.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas also wrote a letter Monday to France’s prime minister and sports minister urging them to reconsider the decision, with the government expected to announce next week a further loosening of the lockdown.

“Could we imagine that 2 June is also a great opportunity to rectify the mistake concerning French football and to allow, with a health protocol used everywhere, a gradual resumption of training and, why not, a resumption of the 2019-20 season over the months of July or August?” Aulas said.

Amiens was relegated from Ligue 1 as the second-bottom team after the final table was decided based on points per game, with 10 scheduled rounds of matches remaining.

“Amiens are still fighting against this decision which we find unfair, incoherent and unfounded,” Amiens president Bernard Joannin told AFP.

“The LFP board of directors has pronounced an arbitrary relegation of our club.”

READ: Next Ligue 1 season likely to begin on August 23

Lyon, who have reached this season’s Champions League last 16, were left seventh in the standings and outside the European qualification places when the season was halted.

An administrative court in Paris has already rejected an appeal from the club.

The judge of the Paris administrative court “has logically retained... that the decisions taken by the league’s board of directors on April 30 could only be challenged before the Council of State,” the LFP said in a statement on Friday.

Lyon took objection to the LFP expressing satisfaction at the decision, replying via a statement of its own that “the administrative tribunal did not rule on the merits of the case“.

“It in no way changes the nature and the basis of the action brought” by the club, Lyon said, warning they would take the matter to the Council of State on Monday.

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