March 13, 2020 / 10:02 AM / 15 days ago

Top flight French domestic club soccer suspended until further notice

PARIS (Reuters) - Top flight French football has been suspended until further notice due to the coronavirus health crisis, the league’s organisers said on Friday.

Both Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 games have been immediately halted as the French league became the latest major footballing competition to call off games due to the outbreak of the virus.

Friday’s decision was made at a meeting of the Professional Football League (LFP) following widespread shutdowns ordered across France.

In a statement, the LFP said the decision was taken unanimously after suggestions earlier this week that the French league could continue without any spectators.

“We must place the collective interest above everything,” the LFP added.

France’s players union (UNFP) had earlier called for the league games to be postponed while the French Football Federation on Thursday called off planned internationals for all France’s representative teams.

France joined Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain in deciding over the last two days to suspend league football.

France’s neighbours Italy and Switzerland began calling off games over the last weeks but Germany’s Bundesliga is scheduled to go ahead this weekend, albeit behind closed doors.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Writing by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Catherine Evans and Toby Davis

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