Tuesday, June 2, 2020

French clubs want a Ligue 2 expanded to 22 teams next season

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The decision made by the Professional Football League (LFP) to expand from 20 to 22 clubs in Ligue 2 remains subject to the approval of the French football federation. FRANCK FIFE / AFP

French football has decidedly struggled to present a united face, while it is going through, like other sports, a strong crisis given the financial impact caused by the cessation of competitions with the epidemic of coronavirus.

The subject of club raids from Ligue 1 to Ligue 2, the two highest levels of the professional elite, was already a source of tension, with the applications filed by Amiens at the Paris Administrative Court.

We must also add the question of the non-descent of Ligue 2 clubs at the lower level, the National, which gives rise to a confrontation between the Professional Football League (LFP) and the French Football Federation (FFF).

Wednesday, May 20, the LFP, meeting in general assembly (by videoconference), adopted a transition from 20 to 22 clubs next season in Ligue 2. This decision, taken by a small majority (57%), must however be validated by the FFF executive committee to be able to come into force. However, the president of the latter, Noël Le Graët, said in recent days that he was not in favor.

Read also The interests of French football players have never seemed so divergent

"The most violent demotion"

Following the final cessation of the championship, which took place at the end of April, a majority of Ligue 2 clubs campaigned for there to be no descents this season, in this case those of Orléans and Le Mans, last in the standings. after a truncated season.

"Everyone knows that in football, the most violent demotion is that between the L2 and the National", had argued, in a statement, the presidents of Orleans and Le Mans.

The promotions of the lower level (the National) remaining current – Pau and Dunkirk must go up – that amounted to agreeing to bring to 22 the number of teams playing in Ligue 2. What authorizes the current binding agreement the League and the Federation: this makes it possible to widen the second division up to "Twenty-two clubs at most".

But such a scheme had been challenged in recent days by Noël Le Graët: the latter argued that there was no question of making an exception for Ligue 2 when, for the amateur championships and Ligue 1, the descents of lower level teams

At the end of April, the FFF had warned the LFP's board of directors that it wanted "Overall coherence between the different amateur and professional divisions" and that she would be "Vigilant" about this question.

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