The head of the Olympique Lyonnais (OL) football team wrote to the French government warning that the sport is facing an “unprecedented economic and social crisis”.

In his open letter French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Roxana Maracineanu, Jean-Michel Aulas, also call for training to resume in June with a view to restarting the matches during the summer months.

French Ligue 1 is the only European top-flight league to be completed and training has not yet been authorized to resume. In addition, the government has indicated that major sporting competitions – including football – will not start again before September.

By contrast, the German Bundesliga resumed behind closed doors earlier this month, while the British Premier League, the Spanish Liga and the Italian Serie A are expected to return to stadiums in June.

Aulas’ OL was in seventh place in the standings when the government ended the football season on April 28 and therefore failed to qualify for the Champions League in Europe for the first time in 20 years.

The club president also reported that “the financial situation of the French clubs is terrible. A definitive end of the season would lead French football to an unprecedented economic and social crisis”.

He warned that due to his decision contrary to the guidelines of the European Union of football associations (UEFA) to wait and see, the state could be forced to “take responsibility for the colossal club deficit” estimated at € 700. millions and € 900 million.

French authorities began easing restrictions on the COVID-19 blockade on 11 May and further easing is expected to begin on 2 June.

“Many developments and hopes are expected on this date for France to gradually regain good momentum,” observed Aulas.

“We could imagine that June 2 is also a great opportunity to correct the error relating to French football and to allow, with a health protocol used everywhere, to give the starting point for a progressive resumption of training (in June) and, why not, a resumption of the championships of the 2019/2020 season in July or August? “, continued Aulas.

The Ministry of Sports guidelines released earlier this month have allowed elite athletes to resume training, except for team or contact sports.

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