No football in France until at least September


There will be no professional football in France until at least September, after an announcement today by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.

This effectively means the end of the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 seasons, with reports that the Ligue de Football Professionnel, which governs the competition, will meet in May to decide final league placings.

The news comes as rumours about the possible return of the Premier League behind closed doors gather pace. Yesterday, the British government’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Oliver Dowden said, “I’ve personally been in talks with the Premier League with a view to getting football up and running as soon as possible in order to support the whole football community.

“But, of course, any such moves would have to be consistent with public health guidance.”

France has been in a strict lockdown for far longer than the UK, but hundreds of people are dying every day in both countries from Covid-19, with figures in the UK believed to be much higher than reported.

The Bundesliga hopes to return next month, playing games behind closed doors, but having eased some restrictions, the infection rate is rising in Germany again so there may yet be further developments or delays.

While an optimistic outlook about the return of sport is nice, and while vested interests like broadcasters and clubs desperate for their share of money to be paid might make it sound as if it’s possible to bring football back, the reality is that public health responsibility has to be the main driver for any decision.

Even behind closed doors, players, officials, staff and the countless other people involved in making it happen, are not immune from infection, and it seem as if we’re still a long way from seeing the game recommence at any level.

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Runcorn Gooner

If any other European countries follow France I would be very surprised if our Government don’t follow suit.

Why should footballers be treated as special cases when people’s lives are at risk.

Naked Cygan

Football is a drug, and we need our drug. Hopefully things will get better.


Not a map of France


Meanwhile Sweden plans to start football on 14th of June, with stadiums open, having not shut down their economy. Experts also say they would not put money on finding a vaccine, as no Vaccine has ever been approved previously for use against a Coronavirus. And even if they did? It could take “at least” 2 years to get it into mass production, there maybe up to 6 different versions of the virus? And it may mutate again? Rendering it fairly useless…. And if they did do it? they’d have to administer it to 67,000,000 people, getting around the logistics of… Read more »


In Norway our Health minister has said that a
vaccine could be ready in the fall. Our death rateshas also gone down. We have a 5 people-rule
but I still see large crowds of people standing

I think it will be a couple of months until we
get our arsenal back.


Spot on.

Julian Pan

Herd immunity can only be achieved if healthcare systems are able to maintain the bandwidth necessary to treat those in need. The idea behind lockdowns isn’t that people won’t get sick–it’s that people won’t all get sick at the same time. Considering people can be contagious for two weeks before showing any symptoms, that’s very difficult to prevent. Covid-19 mostly kills because the infected could not be treated in time. It’s not a coincidence that the places with the highest deaths per capita were the ones that locked down late, like England, the United States, and even Italy. Too many… Read more »


The reason London, Birmingham, NYC have higher rates of deaths, is down to population density. Depended on which newspaper you read, or which TV station you watch, everyone has a different graph looking to confirm their own biases, if you don’t adjust for population, population density, and many other demographics? Then the graphs are meaningless. Every single “expert” on panorama last night had strong ties with the Labour Party and momentum, and I mean every single one of them, they were all hardcore Corbynites, who’s social media accounts were littered with anti-Tory theoretic. Its no wonder trust in the media… Read more »


The fact the BBC did a documentary and didn’t declare the strong political affiliations of the people they were interviewing is relevant, and this is nothing new, they’ve got serious form, it’s no secret that outside Andrew Neil and Portillo, the BBC is packed full of lefties and Europhiles. The EU’s procurement scheme has produced nothing, try doing some non partisan research instead of spewing the usual garbage you get fed in your daily dose of Guardian brainwashing. It’s twice in a few days you’ve now hit me with left wing newspaper propaganda, with the truth seriously twisted. You might… Read more »


Blogs thats one opinion. Many disagree, many agree. My opinion is based on statistics, the flattening of the curve might not be due to slow down in cases, see Sweden, but due to the fact the elderly and vulnerable are dying off first. Which is why I say continue to lockdown 45+ and any demographic that are susceptible to fatality, or extreme illness of the virus. For healthy under 45s the death rate is minuscule, similar to seasonal flu. i just don’t think permanent lockdown is realistic, and since they’ve never found a vaccine for Coronavirus, herd immunity is likely… Read more »


Love you to hunny ?


Uh, in case anyone is wondering, Rich really loved Emery and lamented his sacking for months on here. I don’t feel safe with his views on the pandemic, let alone on Arsenal. Sorry Rich; your outlook is poor.


I didn’t love Emery, I just thought the analysis around the squad, last season, beginning of this season, and our transfer business, was wrong, when he was sacked it was clear he’d lost the dressing room, and I was in favour of Emery leaving a for a few weeks before he was sacked. Last season finishing 5th I think was an overachievement, not an underachievement. I don’t think the performances were poor because Emery wasn’t a good coach, I just don’t think our squad is up to much, we also won some big games under Emery, and the Europa final… Read more »


Imagine we had a Labour government, (god forbid) and they lined up a load of Tory party activists to do a hit job on the government, without declaring their political affiliations on the state broadcaster?

But this is the norm now with the MSM


also a blatant fascist


I’m several months shy of my 65th birthday. Due to restrictions here in Ireland, I’ve been housebound since mid-March. Fair enough. Happy to do my bit. I work in ICT so have been able to work from home, still making a useful contribution to society, as I plan to continue to do for another few years. I resent the implication in your remarks that locking my generation away would be an easy “out” for everyone else. What happened to social solidarity? I was at the West Ham game on March 7th. I sense that if you had your way it… Read more »


I’m a libertarian, I believe we should never have been locked down to begin with. You can advise people of the dangers, and offer the vulnerable incentives to stay home and offer practical support, but ultimately I believe in freewill. Society works better when people take control of their own lives, and take responsible for the consequences of their own actions, this philosophy over a longer term will teach more responsible behaviour, and a more mature society. Then it comes down to, if your in a high risk demographic, ignore the advise, and choose to not stay home? Then you… Read more »


C’mon dude, you cannot be serious. People’s fucking lives are at risk. Just because John from down the block feels it’s a good idea to go fuck around outside doesn’t mean he should, or even be allowed to. Many in our families are at high risk, but sure, let’s follow your libertarian nonsense which will (and has) gotten people killed. Just stop, you’re an absolute imbecile.

Red Cannon

The other important point is that herd immunity only works if someone is immune from a virus once they’ve developed IgG antibodies against it. We don’t know that to be the case with SARS-CoV-2, & there is some evidence that people are being re-infected a second time after a previous infection. Banking on herd immunity at this point would be very dangerous.


“we should … allow this disease to burnout itself out through herd immunity” – what complete idiocy. Clearly you haven’t read anything about the life long side effects that may afflict people who survive COVID-19: permanent damage to the lungs, liver, circulatory system, the brain, and other neurological damage, clotting problems that force limb amputation. Allowing the widespread infection of the population will cause massive numbers of deaths, overwhelm the health system, and leave large numbers of people impaired or crippled for life. As of yesterday 0.15% of the population of New York City have died from COVID-19. Not 0.15%… Read more »


I’m not saying people aren’t going to die. They are, it’s inevitable. 50,000 people died in the uk of seasonal flu in 2017 alone, the vast majority of these deaths accounted for vulnerable people. 620,000 people died in England, Wales, Scotland in 2017, Look at the statistics, Coronavirus is a mild illness for the vast majority of healthy people under 45. It mainly kills ages 65+ The vast majority of other deaths come from people with pre-existing conditions. The numbers of deaths for people with no pre-existing conditions are extremely low. You also need to be careful of the death… Read more »


God damn, are you stupid! You’ve completely missed the point that people who get infected with COVID-19 but don’t die from it can still suffer from extremely serious and irreversible, permanent damage. This virus isn’t a cold where you get it, you get sick, then you get well and you’re no worse off then you were before. And all of these after effects are hitting people of all ages, not just senior citizens. Here in the US, for example, a 42 year old Broadway actor has had a leg amputated due to clotting caused by COVID-19 and is in an… Read more »


Healthy people under 45 will die from this disease, the same way they’ll die from flu.

But the numbers are minuscule, and an exceptionally small percentage of overall deaths

All deaths are a tragedy, but you can’t stop death.

You say I’m stupid, but you’re the one reading isolated incidents, and trying to pass them off as the norm.

Try reading some actual statistics, that don’t come out of China, and look into the demographics of the fatalities, before calling me stupid.


Blogs for people under the age of 45 and who are in good health, the fatality rates are virtually identical to the flu, they’re minuscule.

This isn’t some crap I read on Facebook, this is a national statistic.

Try reading what I write, rather than twisting it.

Coronavirus within the vulnerable demographics is statistically more fatal than the flu, but that could be because Covid19 is much more contagious than Flu, therefor the rate of infection is much higher


Blogs try actually reading this article first, including the small print, where the 5% of deaths aren’t necessarily not people with “serious” pre-existing conditions.

They simply don’t have the data, so the numbers are quite possibly much smaller.

Also have a look at national statistics on demographics worldwide


I note that you keep running away from the real point: people of all ages who survive COVID-19 infections can be permanently damaged and impaired for the rest of their lives. So why don’t you go get infected and be the test case for herd immunity?


I’ve already had it, but using myself as a test case would be far too small a sample to prove anything…. It was flu like symptoms, I was in bed for 11 days, fever, aches and pains, pins and needles all down my left side, and coughing fits, particularly towards the end of the illness it progressively got worse, then I completely lost my appetite and my taste buds when I was up and about, which meant I went 14 days without any solid food, losing 18 pounds. Every cloud…… But looking at the data, the virus effects everyone differently,… Read more »


Exactly. It’s also incredibly stupid to minimize the sheer number of people with pre-existing conditions, as if they’re a tiny segment of any given population.

In some countries as many as 40-50% of over 65s may have a pre-existing condition, and for adults under 65 you’re still looking at 20-35% of people.

That’s something like 15% of a given population you’d be sacrificing. And according to the WHO, herd immunity is a pipe-dream anyway because:

“There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection.”


Ya Gooner

The whole point of the lockdown is to ease the pressure on our repective healthcare sysystems. The virus will sweep through the population regardless but if you slow the infection rate you keep beds free for people who need it, thus saving lives. It’s still a herd immunity approach. Sweden likely think their healthcare system can handle the numbers.


The flattening of the curve is more likely because the old and vulnerable are dying off first, rather than slowing down the rate of transmission.

Particularly when you look at the statistics around fatalities.

The first samples of the antibody tests will be interesting, there’s some virologists in Sweden that believe at least 50% of the population have already been infected, and once Sweden comes through the peak, the numbers will naturally level off.

Ya Gooner

Yeah what julain said maybe i2shoyld read commentsfirst before replying…


No fans=No football. Simple. The rate things are going I can’t see things resuming until September 2021.