Reaching the final of the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue could prove to be more vital for Paris Saint-Germain than previously thought if the games are played.
Setting aside the chance to win silverware, which is always a good thing, the two games could prove to be the only opportunity for PSG to play a competitive game before the UEFA Champions League resumes in August most likely.
With Ligue 1 now canceled due to the coronavirus, PSG are now without any fixtures while their potential Champions League opponents will have the rest of their domestic season to find their rhythm and match fitness.
Neither the Coupe de France final (against AS Saint-Étienne) or Coupe de la Ligue final (against Olympique Lyonnais) are officially on the calendar but Noël Le Graët, the president of the French Football Federation, is working through possible dates and logistics with both games likely needing to be played behind closed doors (something the president of Saint-Étienne wasn’t thrilled about).
“Saint-Étienne does not wish to boycott the final,” Le Graët said in an interview with L’Equipe. “This is an important issue for the club. It is their only chance to compete in a European Cup. And for PSG, it would be a good preparation match for the Champions League, which should resume around August 10, if the calendar is maintained. The final of the Coupe de la Ligue can also be organized between the two. This too is important for my friend Jean-Michel Aulas.”
Le Graët continued by discussing what he is doing behind the scenes to try and get the two cup finals played in France despite the French Prime Minister stating recently that no sporting event can take place before September.
“We could thus have the final of the Coupe de France, then that of the Coupe de la Ligue, then the restart of the Champions League,” Le Graët said. “I’m going to see this on Wednesday. I will be in Paris and I will also chat with the Stade de France so that it does not cost us a fortune. We have to see under what conditions they receive us behind closed doors.”
With Ligue 1 taking on some criticism for perhaps canceling the season too soon, fitting in at least two cup finals, especially the last edition of the Coupe de la Ligue, would be a step in the right direction and could not only help PSG prepare for the Champions League, but also provide Saint-Étienne and Lyon a chance to qualify for Europe next season.
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