France’s highest administrative court has rejected an effort to restart the Ligue 1 season – but ruled that Amiens and Toulouse should be reprieved from relegation.
The French football league decided at the end of April to cancel the 2019-20 season with 10 rounds of matches remaining after the Government declared there would be no professional sport before September.
Lyon, who finished seventh in a final table decided by a points-per-game calculation and missed out on European qualification, joined with relegated clubs Amiens and Toulouse in launching legal action.
The court on Tuesday ruled that Ligue 1 would not recommence but Amiens and Toulouse have been spared relegation with the top-flight potentially now expanded to 22 teams for next season.
Lyon have the right to appeal the Council of State verdict, as does the French league against the instruction to expand the top-flight.
It represents an astonishing escape for Toulouse, who had won just one league point since they defeated Lille 2-1 back on October 19. That point came in a goalless draw with Amiens.
The Council of State ruled the decision to end the season after 28 of 38 games was lawful, saying there was ‘no serious doubt around the legality of this decision, which weighed up the advantages and disadvantages of an immediate stoppage of the season when there was very great uncertainty about whether or not competitive action would be able to return in time.’