French football president tells chairmen to shut up
Issued on: Modified:
French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel le Graet on Sunday said a call by Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas to annul the season was "ridiculous, stupid, clumsy and inappropriate."
He also told Aulas and other club officials to stop bickering during the coronavirus epidemic which has forced the cancellation of all the competitions French clubs are in.
On Friday, Aulas told Le Monde newspaper: "The most logical thing would be to say: we'll cancel everything and go back to the situation at the start of the season."
On Saturday, he tweeted that "Karren Brady, vice-chairman of West Ham, foresees that the Premier League will be cancelled."
Le Graet joined the chorus of opposition on Sunday on French television.
"I don't want any controversy. It's the French Football Federation that will decide if it continues or not, the only enemy today is the virus," he said.
In his Le Monde interview, Aulas, a member of the FFF executive committee, called for a "blank season", with no title at the end.
Lyon's great rivals Paris Saint-Germain are on course for another title. They are 12 points ahead of second-placed Marseille.
There would be no relegation, said Aulas, who represents Ligue 1 clubs on the French league (LFP) committee, to prevent "those at the bottom of the table" taking legal action.
Aulas also said the Champions League places should be "allocated to the same clubs as last season".
After finishing third last season, Lyon are struggling in seventh place, 10 points off a Champions League place.
Marseille president Jacques-Henri Eyraud responded in a column for the Journal du Dimanche condemning "the obscenity (of an) opportunistic proposal" and "the selfishness of someone whose only compass is his participation in the Champions League".
Le Graet said the FFF executive committee would decide.
"There's an executive committee at the French Football Federation and it's this executive committee that will decide," Le Graet said. "So all the interviews that are done on the left or on the right, where people want to shine or not shine, don't matter."
"I find it quite ridiculous, stupid, clumsy and inappropriate to what's happening," he added, asking the two club presidents "to calm down and be dignified in their statements, which make no sense and don't make them any bigger."
The FFF, he said, was "in the real fight. The other fight - who's playing in a European Cup - is stupid."
© 2020 AFP