French league votes to keep 20-team 1st division next season

June 19

PARIS (AP) — The French league voted on Friday to keep a 20-team first division next season, despite a court's decision to suspend the relegations of Amiens and Toulouse to the second division.

The league said in a statement that there were 23 votes for a 20-team league and two abstentions. The proposal needs to be upheld at the league's general assembly on Tuesday.

On June 9, France’s highest administrative court maintained the league's decision to cancel the rest of the domestic soccer season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But it suspended relegating Amiens and Toulouse, asking the league to examine whether the first division could be played with 22 teams next season to include promoted Lorient and Lens.

Having also consulted the French Soccer Federation the LFP said that 22 teams is not feasible because it impacts on player health with too many games, as well as on television rights and the contractual obligations of broadcasters.

The league has signed a lucrative new TV rights contract with broadcaster Mediapro worth a national record 1,153 billion euros per year ($1.29 billion).

The season is set to start on Aug. 23.

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