Three Ligue 1 clubs' appeals against ending football season rejected by court

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PARIS, May 22 (Xinhua) -- A Paris administrative court on Friday rejected the appeals from three French Ligue 1 clubs who claimed that the season had been wrongly abandoned by governing body French Professional Football League (LFP).

The three Ligue 1 clubs are relegated Amiens and Toulouse, as well as powerhouses Lyon who were in seventh place when the league was prematurely ended.

LFP said in a statement that the court "logically retained ... that the decisions of general scope taken by the League's Board of Directors on April 30 could only be challenged before the Council of State."

The top two divisions of French football were officially ended on April 30 with 10 of the 38 scheduled rounds unplayed, two days after Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced that "no sporting events will be allowed to take place until September" due to the coronavirus pandemic.

LFP confirmed that Paris Saint-Germain retained the Ligue 1 title for the third consecutive year, while the bottom two sides, Amiens and Toulouse, were relegated to the second-tier Ligue 2.

"We find that this decision goes against sporting fairness. The decision is a punishment from the league. It is unjust," Amiens' president, Bernard Joannin, said during a press conference on May 12.

Joannin was not pursuing a re-start of the campaign, but insisted that there should be no relegations since the season was not ended naturally.

Olivier Sadran, Joannin's counterpart at Toulouse, also favored a 22-team Ligue 1 for next season. He said that he decided to go to the courts to "defend their rights" because it's to "ensure sporting fairness."

"There were more than 30 points in play," Sadran wrote in a letter to the club's sponsors.

Toulouse collected only 13 points when the season was suspended, 10 behind closest rivals Amiens who were four points from the safety zone.

Lyon finished seventh on the table, a place means that there will be no continental competitions for the seven-time Ligue 1 winners next season, for the first time since 1995-1996. Enditem

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