FRENCH LIGUE 1 TO TEST PLAYERS FOR VIRUS FROM MAY 11

Ligue 1 players will return to their clubs the week starting May 11 to undergo “full medical check-ups” with a view to restarting the French league in June, pending government clearance.

The French league (LFP) board met on Friday night to review the main points of a draft document on medical and health protocols presented by the league’s representative for club doctors.

The document “foresees a return of players to training centres the week of May 11 to carry out full medical check-ups, as well as swab tests, followed by detailed daily monitoring”.

The LFP indicated its preferred option remains a “resumption of the top flight in mid-June, subject to knowing the terms of easing confinement measures which will be presented by the government in the coming days”.

However, the talk is that some of those restrictions could be lifted on May 11, the date when the current lockdown is set to end.

That would allow for the recommencement of the season behind closed doors, with French Football Federation president Noel le Graet suggesting the French Cup and League Cup finals should be staged as a “curtain-raiser”.

League leaders Paris Saint-Germain face St-Etienne and Lyon in the respective finals.

“It would offer a good image for both professional and amateur football,” le Graet said. “The restart of the championship is still to be decided, but we might change the calendar a bit to play the Cup finals first (before Ligue 1).

“My proposition has not been contradicted, so… until someone says ‘No’ to me, it is a ‘Yes’.”

The LFP also reached an agreement with broadcasters Canal Plus and beIN Sports on Friday over disputed payments that financially strapped sides have been crying out for.

Both broadcasters withheld payments of €110 million (S$170 million) and €42 million respectively – as reported by French daily L’Equipe – after the league was halted indefinitely on March 13.

A statement said they would pay a total of €52 million for games already shown, with the rest depending on the LFP’s ability to put on “a spectacle that meets expectations”.

– AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS