There will be no games in the top two French leagues until 15 April at the earliest, the Ligue de Football Professionel president, Nathalie Boy de la Tour, has said.
Ligue 1 and 2 were suspended indefinitely last week and there had been some suggestions that it might start up again in early April but the league ruled that out on Wednesday.
“If the [French government’s] containment period lasts 15 days, and we add two weeks of training before that, we could resume around 15 April. We can anticipate everything, but above all we have to adapt and remain pragmatic,” Boy de la Tour said.
She added: “The administrative council meeting on Tuesday said the top priority was to complete the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 campaigns, in view of the sporting and economic stakes involved. This is vital for the future of the clubs and French football.
“We will be able to move away from the framework that says the leagues play at the weekend and Uefa plays during the week. It was agreed this morning that everyone could play whenever they wanted to finish their competitions.”
Regarding a date for the end of the season, Didier Quillot, the executive director of the LFP, said: “We’ve made it a major principle to do everything we can to finish on 30 June. The goal is 30, but if we have to finish later, we’ll adapt, with the clubs and the players. We’ll play as much as we can.”
Paris Saint-Germain, the reigning champions, are 12 points clear of second-placed Marseille. PSG, who have reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League, have 11 games remaining, and Marseille 10.
Serie A club Cagliari said their first team would resume training on Monday and that players would be divided into small groups to respect social distancing guidelines.
Italy has emerged as the worst-hit country outside China with 35,713 confirmed cases and 2,978 deaths as of Wednesday. Serie A was the first of the big five European national leagues to be suspended.
The Sardinian club are ready to re-start training despite the Italian players’ union (AIC) statement that teams should not train at present.
“We have denounced the behaviour of some clubs because they even want the players to train during these days,” AIC president Damiano Tommasi said on Monday. The players should also stay at home in this situation.”