PSG to play Champions League matches abroad, says president

Al-Khelaifi wants PSG to play on in the Champions League ‘wherever and whenever it is held’. (AP pic)

PARIS: Paris St Germain will complete their Champions League season abroad if France’s new coronavirus regulations don’t allow them to them to play matches in the country, the club’s president said Tuesday.

Nasser Al-Khelaifi made the announcement after French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said that professional football could not restart until September, putting the current Ligue 1 season in serious danger of being cancelled.

“We respect the French government decision. With agreement from Uefa, we plan on competing in the Champions League, wherever and whenever it is held,” Al-Khelaifi said in a statement.

“If it is not possible to play in France we will play our matches abroad, ensuring the best medical safety conditions for our players and all of our staff.”

Philippe’s announcement to France’s National Assembly on Tuesday appeared to spell the end to the current Ligue 1 and 2 campaigns.

However France’s sports ministry told AFP after the speech that sports fixtures could not take place even behind closed doors before the end of July, leaving open the possibility that some matches could still be played in August.

The French Football League (LFP) will hold a teleconference later Tuesday to draw its conclusions from the government’s announcement.

According to documents seen by AFP, European governing body Uefa is aiming to finish this season’s Champions League by the end of August.

PSG are in the quarterfinals of this year’s competition, but are yet to have an opponent as the round of 16 ties were not completed before the Covid-19 lockdown hit Europe.

According to the documents, the round of 16 will be finished on Aug 7-8, with the quarters played between Aug 11-15 and the final on Aug 29.