Ligue 1 relegation overruled for Amiens and Toulouse but Lyon appeal dismissed
Lyon lose appeal against premature Ligue 1 finish but Amiens and Toulouse relegations suspended
Last Updated: 09/06/20 7:41pm
France's highest administrative court has rejected an appeal from Lyon against ending Ligue 1 early, but ruled relegation for Amiens and Toulouse would be suspended.
The French football league's decision to end the season with 10 games remaining meant Lyon failed to qualify for Europe through the Ligue 1 standings, while Amiens and Toulouse were relegated.
The decision came after the government said in April no professional sport would be allowed to return before September.
The government has since said French cup final matches for the season can take place in July and August. Training for teams has resumed.
"The judge validates the terms defined by the league, in particular for the classification of the Ligue 1 championship," the Council of the State said in a statement.
"The judge in summary proceedings suspends relegation to Ligue 2 of Amiens and Toulouse," it added, ordering the French league to rethink the format of the 2020-21 season before June 30.
Amiens and Toulouse have proposed a 22-team league next season. They had argued that their relegation was unjust because there were no statutes in place for such a scenario, and that it was an arbitrary decision considering the standings could have been different if the pandemic had led to the league shutting down earlier.
In its ruling, the judge considered that the French league's board could not base its decision to demote the last two Ligue 1 teams on the fact that the agreement concluded with the French football federation (FFF) provided for a limit of 20 clubs.
The court pointed out that the current deal with the FFF expires on June 30 and that a new accord will have to be signed. The French league and the FFF both said they took note of the court's request and did not elaborate on further steps.
The Council of State issued its ruling after Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas and the two demoted clubs took the case to court last month in a bid to force the league to play the remaining 10 matches of the aborted season.
The league was cancelled with Paris Saint-Germain declared champions, while Lyon - who are still in this season's Champions League - finished outside the European places in seventh. Lyon can still qualify for the Europa League if they beat PSG in the League Cup final.
Lyon lose Tousart for Champions League
Lyon will be without defensive midfielder Lucas Tousart when the Champions League resumes after Hertha Berlin announced his loan deal will not be extended to cover the expected restart in August.
Tousart volleyed the only goal when Lyon beat Juventus 1-0 in their last-16 first leg in February. The second leg remains to be played because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Hertha signed Tousart from Lyon in January but loaned him back to the French club until June 30. Tousart has not played since March 8 because the French league was cancelled and European competitions were postponed.
Hertha sporting director Michael Preetz said he discussed the loan deal with Lyon but Tousart would join his new club in Berlin on July 1 as planned.
"We are happy that there is now clarity and that we can welcome Lucas here in July as a new Hertha player," Preetz said in a statement.