Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has suffered defeat in a challenge to the abandonment of the Ligue 1 season - but Amiens and Toulouse were thrown a lifeline on Tuesday.

The Conseil d'Etat - France's highest administrative court - ruled that there was "no serious doubt on the legality" of the decision taken by the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) to call off the season on April 30.

Lyon and the determined Aulas had challenged that move, but now they must face up to the prospect of no European football next season, with their seventh position in the table frozen.

Many European leagues have resumed or are on the point of resuming; however, France's football authorities followed government advice in halting their campaign.

A Conseit d'Etat statement read: "The summary judge considers there is no serious doubt on the legality of this decision, which weighed the advantages and the disadvantages of an immediate stop of the championship, whereas a very great uncertainty affected the hypothesis of a possible restart of competitions in good time."

The court also backed the LFP's decision to confirm final placings based on points-per-game averages, and said the relegation of Amiens and Toulouse should be suspended.

That is not a full reprieve, and the relegation of both clubs could still be confirmed at a later date.

The court said the decision to demote Amiens and Toulouse could not be made on the premise that Ligue 1 is currently limited to 20 teams, given that agreement was due to end on June 30.

The LFP has been asked to review its format for the 2020-21 season, and in theory that could see this season's bottom two saved.

However, should the LFP, in conjunction with the French Football Federation (FFF), decide the league should remain at its current size, Amiens and Toulouse would likely face demotion to the second tier.

The Conseil d'Etat said: "The summary judge considers that the league's administrative board could not legally rely, in deciding to relegate the last two in the Ligue 1 ranking, on the fact that the current agreement reached with the French Football Federation (FFF) provides for a limit of 20 clubs, while this agreement ends on June 30 and a new agreement will have to be signed.

"The judge therefore orders the Ligue de Football Professionnel, in conjunction with the competent bodies of the FFF, to re-examine the question of the format of Ligue 1 for the 2020-2021 season, in light of all the elements relating to the conditions in which this season is likely to take place, and to draw the consequences as to the principle of relegation before June 30."

Arsene Wenger has warned about the motives of foreign investors in French football, suggesting a commission should be set up to ensure they are not solely seeking to make money. 

Former Arsenal boss Wegner, who now works as FIFA's chief of global football development, believes an increase in purchases from overseas sources can have a negative effect on the game if not monitored closely. 

Marseille, Bordeaux and Le Havre all have American owners, while Toulouse – who were relegated to Ligue 2 following the decision to abandon the 2019-20 top-flight campaign – are in talks with an investment firm out of the United States. 

In the Premier League, Newcastle United are expected to be purchased by a Saudi Arabia-backed consortium. 

Wenger believes a process needs to be implemented to ensure "football culture" is not eroded away by those with eyes only on finances. 

"Unfortunately, I think today we are witnessing a reverse phenomenon," Wenger told beIN SPORTS. 

"For example, if you take French clubs, they gradually fall into the hands of people who are not real builders for the future of the club, but rather investors who seek to earn money very quickly. 

"We can see in France today there are a lot of problems at this level because the clubs are dissatisfied, the supporters feel that the primary goal is not to build a good team but to achieve financial game. 

"Perhaps we should create a Club Purchasing Ethics Commission to see what the real intentions of the people who buy our clubs are. 

"You can't squander a country's football culture just for financial reasons."

Lyon, Amiens and Toulouse have had their appeals against the decision to end the Ligue 1 season early dismissed by a Paris court, which said only the Council of State can make a determination on such matters.

The administrative court declared a case of that nature could only be challenged before the Council of State and Lyon have already indicated their intention to take the case there.

Lyon criticised the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) for expressing satisfaction at the decision, saying in a statement on Friday that "the administrative tribunal did not rule on the merits of the case".

It added the development in "no way changes the nature and the basis of the action" brought by the club, who were sitting seventh when the season was halted.

The LFP said it "was pleased to learn that the appeals lodged by Olympique Lyonnais, Amiens SC and Toulouse FC were rejected by the summary judge of the Paris administrative court".

"In three orders issued on Friday afternoon, the court ruled that the general decisions taken by the league's board of directors on April 30 could only be challenged before the Council of State," the LFP's statement added.

Lyon were denied European qualification via their league position due to the LFP's move to end the campaign with 10 matches still to play amid the coronavirus pandemic.

They can only secure a place in continental competition in 2020-21 if they win the Coupe de France final, which is yet to be rescheduled, or the Champions League.

Amiens and Toulouse were relegated by the LFP and have requested a 22-team Ligue 1 next season, rather than an increased Ligue 2.

The decision to end the campaign came after French prime minister Edouard Philippe declared there could be no major sporting events, including those behind closed doors, held before September.

Former Paris Saint-Germain and Toulouse coach Antoine Kombouare has called on players to go on strike next season if the French Professional Football League (LFP) does not agree to a 22-team Ligue 1.

France's top-flight season was cancelled at the end of last month due to the coronavirus pandemic, with PSG awarded their seventh title in eight years on a point-by-game basis and Toulouse and Amiens relegated.

Kombouare served as Toulouse coach between October and January this term but was sacked after a run of 10 consecutive defeats in all competitions that culminated in a Coupe de France loss against fourth-tier outfit Saint-Pryve Saint-Hilaire.

The 56-year-old's son Yann is an administrative director at Amiens, who this weekend formally launched legal action to contest their relegation.

"The players and the coaches must agree to strike at the start of next season if [the situation] does not evolve", Kombouare Sr told L'Equipe.

"There will be layoffs. Even at the amateur level, it will hurt. Having players end their careers in this way is terribly unfair. And I have always hated injustice.

"In front of this suffering and concern born of this crisis, we must unite. We are not united enough. It makes me angry.

Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas – who has also lodged two legal actions against the LFP decision - and former France captain Laurent Blanc are among those to have voiced opposition to curtailing the season with 10 matches remaining.

Meanwhile, Monaco midfielder Cesc Fabregas told beIN SPORTS the call might have been "taken a little too soon".

Montpellier president Laurent Nicollin has urged Ligue 1 clubs not to appeal against the decision to end the season.

He added: "If we finished last… I would have shut my mouth."

The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) announced on Thursday the final standings had been decided on a points-per-game basis after French prime minister Edouard Philippe banned all sporting events until September due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While Paris Saint-Germain were crowned champions, Amiens and Toulouse were relegated to Ligue 2 and are expected to challenge the decision.

Lyon also stated they could launch an appeal because finishing seventh means they need to win the Coupe de France final against PSG or the Champions League in order to avoid a first season without European football since 1996-97.

It is hoped the 2020-21 season will begin on August 22/23 and Nicollin warned clubs against delaying that more than necessary.

"If there are legal challenges in the coming weeks we may not be paid the next TV rights, which could trigger a new crisis," Nicollin told Le Figaro.

"I'm going to be told, 'If you were Toulouse or Amiens you would do it too.' I do know [what I would do]. If we finished last, with a certain decency, I would have shut my mouth.

"I think like that today. With old age maybe I am becoming a big jerk."

He added: "This decision does not solve the problem because in two or three months we may find ourselves in a difficult situation, until we have a vaccine.

"But we are trying everything so that 2020-21 starts in the best possible way.

"2019-20 had to be sacrificed rather than the opposite."

Aside from in the Bundesliga, the resumption of football in Europe's top five leagues still appears some way off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Players have had plenty of time to analyse their performances this season and we have previously used Opta data to examine some of the best attacking and passing numbers from 2019-20. Now it's the turn of the defence.

We have analysed nine metrics for defenders to have featured in at least 10 league games this season, thereby giving us a good summary of those who have led the way at the back.

The metrics include success rates in duels, tackling and aerial challenges, and for these we have only included players who have completed 20 actions in each category, which accounts to two per game.

The below therefore provides a good indication of who has been excelling in defence. There are some familiar names, but also others you might not be expecting...

THE BEST DEFENDING STATS IN EUROPE'S TOP-FIVE LEAGUES 2019-20:

BUNDESLIGA:

Most tackles won: Kingsley Ehizibue (47)
Best tackle success: Rafael Czichos (90.63 per cent)
Most duels won: Christopher Lenz (180)
Best duel success: Salif Sane (73.08 per cent)
Most aerials won: Robin Koch (88)
Best aerial success: Salif Sane (87.76 per cent)
Most clearances: Dedryck Boyata (120)
Most interceptions: Nico Elvedi (58)
Most blocks: Dedryck Boyata (24)

LALIGA:

Most tackles won: Marc Cucurella (41)
Best tackle success: Jaume Costa (84 per cent)
Most duels won: Pervis Estupinan (181)
Best duel success: Jose Gimenez (72.5 per cent)
Most aerials won: David Garcia (109)
Best aerial success: David Garcia (77.3 per cent)
Most clearances: Mohammed Salisu (136)
Most interceptions: Kiko Olivas and Unai Bustinza (48)
Most blocks: Gabriel Paulista (26)

LIGUE 1:

Most tackles won: Issiaga Sylla and Fabien Centonze (49)
Best tackle success: Bafode Diakite (82.61 per cent)
Most duels won: Issiaga Sylla (207)
Best duel success: Presnel Kimpembe (68.85 per cent)
Most aerials won: Pablo (114)
Best aerial success: Leo Dubois (76.92 per cent)
Most clearances: Damien da Silva (138)
Most interceptions: Issiaga Sylla (67)
Most blocks: Jason Denayer (29)

PREMIER LEAGUE:

Most tackles won: Ricardo Pereira (68)
Best tackle success: Serge Aurier (78.38 per cent)
Most duels won: Ricardo Pereira (256)
Best duel success: Virgil van Dijk (74.9 per cent)
Most aerials won: James Tarkowski (145)
Best aerial success: Bernardo (83.33 per cent)
Most clearances: Jan Bednarek (158)
Most interceptions: Diego Rico (62)
Most blocks: James Tarkowski and Tyrone Mings (37)

SERIE A:

Most tackles won: Stefano Sabelli (36)
Best tackle success: Samir (80 per cent)
Most duels won: Stefano Sabelli (176)
Best duel success: Bruno Alves (78.38 per cent)
Most aerials won: Amir Rrahmani (145)
Best aerial success: Bruno Alves (87.18 per cent)
Most clearances: Jhon Chancellor (134)
Most interceptions: Armando Izzo (58)
Most blocks: Andrea Cistana (34)

AND THE TOP NINE:

Most tackles won: Ricardo Pereira (68)
Best tackle success: Rafael Czichos (90.63 per cent)
Most duels won: Ricardo Pereira (256)
Best duel success: Bruno Alves (78.38 per cent)
Most aerials won: James Tarkowski and Amir Rrahmani (145)
Best aerial success: Salif Sane (87.76 per cent)
Most clearances: Jan Bednarek (158)
Most interceptions: Issiaga Sylla (67)
Most blocks: James Tarkowski and Tyrone Mings (37)

The resumption of football in Europe's top five leagues still appears some way off due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving players with plenty of time to analyse their performances this season.

Using Opta data, we have already examined some of the worst attacking and passing numbers from 2019-20, so now it's the turn of the defence.

We have analysed nine metrics for defenders to have featured in at least 10 league games this season, thereby giving us a good summary of those whose defending could use some improvement.

The metrics include success rates in duels, tackling and aerial challenges, errors leading to shots and goals and how many times a player has been dribbled past by an opponent.

As always when it comes to data, context is key. For success rates in duels, tackling and aerial challenges we have only included players who have completed 20 actions in each category, which accounts to two per game.

The below therefore provides a good indication on where improvement is needed, and there are a few surprising names…

 

THE WORST DEFENDING STATS IN EUROPE'S TOP-FIVE LEAGUES 2019-20:

BUNDESLIGA:

Most tackles lost: William (29)
Worst tackle success: Alexander Hack (40.91 per cent)
Most errors leading to goals: Robin Koch (3)
Most errors leading to shots (including goals): Robin Koch (3)
Most dribbled past by an opponent: William (32)
Most duels lost: Stefan Lainer (125)
Worst duel success: Julian Ryerson (35 per cent)
Most aerials lost: Robin Koch and Sven Bender (56)
Worst aerial success: Christian Gunter (22.86 per cent)

LALIGA:

Most tackles lost: Pervis Estupinan (34)
Worst tackle success: Nacho Monreal (40 per cent)
Most errors leading to goals: Joseph Aidoo and Sergio Ramos (2)
Most errors leading to shots (including goals): Pervis Estupinan (5)
Most dribbled past by an opponent: Marc Cucurella (35)
Most duels lost: Marc Cucurella (167)
Worst duel success: Daniel Carrico (40.3 per cent)
Most aerials lost: Didac Vila (55)
Worst aerial success: Xavi Quintilla (25.71 per cent)

LIGUE 1:

Most tackles lost: Boubacar Kamara (33)
Worst tackle success: Lionel Carole (34.78 per cent)
Most errors leading to goals: Sofiane Alakouch, Timothee Kolodziejczak and Stefan Mitrovic (2)
Most errors leading to shots (including goals): Wesley Fofana, Alexander Djiku and Malang Sarr (4)
Most dribbled past by an opponent: Arturo Calabresi (42)
Most duels lost: Issiaga Sylla (161)
Worst duel success: Colin Dagba (40 per cent)
Most aerials lost: Pablo Martinez (59)
Worst aerial success: Hamza Mendyl (17.39 per cent)

PREMIER LEAGUE:

Most tackles lost: Ricardo Pereira (50)
Worst tackle success: Calum Chambers (38.46 per cent)
Most errors leading to goals: Jan Bednarek (3)
Most errors leading to shots (including goals): Jan Bednarek, Tyrone Mings, John Egan, Davinson Sanchez and James Tarkowski (4)
Most dribbled past by an opponent: Ricardo Pereira (53)
Most duels lost: Ricardo Pereira (215)
Worst duel success: Benjamin Mendy (37.38 per cent)
Most aerials lost: Ben Mee (84)
Worst aerial success: Max Aarons (26.09 per cent)

SERIE A:

Most tackles lost: Matteo Darmian (32)
Worst tackle success: Andrea Cistana (40 per cent)
Most errors leading to goals: Jhon Chancellor, Fabio Lucioni, Jose Luis Palomino, Alex Sandro (2)
Most errors leading to shots (including goals): Fabio Lucioni (5)
Most dribbled past by an opponent: Stefano Sabelli (40)
Most duels lost: Giovanni Di Lorenzo (126)
Worst duel success: Hans Hateboer (40.63 per cent)
Most aerials lost: Mattia Bani (57)
Worst aerial success: Jeremy Toljan (28.00 per cent)

AND THE TOP NINE:

Most tackles lost: Ricardo Pereira (50)
Worst tackle success: Lionel Carole (34.78 per cent)
Most errors leading to goals: Robin Koch and Jan Bednarek (3)
Most errors leading to shots (including goals): Pervis Estupinan and Fabio Lucioni (5)
Most dribbled past by an opponent: Ricardo Pereira (53)
Most duels lost: Ricardo Pereira (215)
Worst duel success: Julian Ryerson (35 per cent)
Most aerials lost: Ben Mee (84)
Worst aerial success: Hamza Mendyl (17.39 per cent)

With football no closer to being resumed as the coronavirus pandemic continues, players across Europe's top-five leagues have lots of time to pore over their performances from this season.

Using Opta data, we have already examined some of the worst attacking numbers from 2019-20, so now it's the turn of those ball-playing technicians: the pass-masters.

We have analysed nine key metrics for outfield players to play in at least 10 league games this season, thereby giving us a good summary of those whose passing could use some improvement. Those metrics are focused on the number of passes (overall, in a player's own half and their opponent's half), the accuracy of those passes, corners and crosses, and losing possession.

As always when it comes to data, context is key. For instance, we have included overall accuracy percentages to give balance to the simple number of passes. A team's playmaker or set-piece taker, for example, is arguably more likely to have a larger number of misplaced passes than team-mates simply because he will be attempting more of them, and often in difficult areas.

It's also worth noting that the number of times possession has been lost excludes 'Hoofs' (which, by their nature, make losing the ball more common), while corner and crossing accuracy is taken only from those to attempt, on average, at least one per game.

That said, the below gives a good indication of some passing figures that need improvement - and there are one or two surprising names...

THE WORST PASSING STATS IN EUROPE'S TOP-FIVE LEAGUES 2019-20:

BUNDESLIGA:

Most passes failed: Robert Andrich (291)
Worst passing accuracy: Anthony Modeste (55.4 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Jamilu Collins (110)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Kai Proger (60.5 per cent)
Most passes failed, opposition half: Sebastian Andersson (215)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half: Anthony Modeste (42.1 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed: Filip Kostic (199)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): Wendell (0 of 22)
Most times possession lost: Filip Kostic (616)

LALIGA:

Most passes failed: Leandro Cabrera (352)
Worst passing accuracy: Enric Gallego (48.6 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Pervis Estupinan (94)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Sergio Leon (57.1 per cent)
Most passes failed, opposition half: Joselu (283)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half: Leandro Cabrera (43.5 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed: Jesus Navas (134)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): Karim Benzema (0 of 19)
Most times possession lost: Pervis Estupinan (534)

LIGUE 1:

Most passes failed: Issiaga Sylla (281)
Worst passing accuracy: Suk Hyun-jun (44.8 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Fabien Centonze (111)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Suk Hyun-jun (50 per cent)
Most passes failed, opposition half: Andy Delort (238)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half:  Suk Hyun-jun (44.4 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed: Mathieu Dossevi (142)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): M'Baye Niang (0 of 11)
Most times possession lost: Angel Di Maria (539)

PREMIER LEAGUE:

Most passes failed: Trent Alexander-Arnold (480)
Worst passing accuracy: Christian Benteke (52.4 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Cesar Azpilicueta (132)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Matej Vydra (50 per cent)
Most passes failed, opposition half:  Trent Alexander-Arnold (359)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half: Christian Benteke (48 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed:  Trent Alexander-Arnold (246)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): Gabriel Martinelli (0 of 22)
Most times possession lost:  Trent Alexander-Arnold (867)

SERIE A:

Most passes failed: Stefano Sabelli (324)
Worst passing accuracy: Lautaro Martinez (59.5 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Stefano Sabelli (94)
Most passes failed, opposition half: Stefano Sabelli (230)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Florian Aye (58.5 per cent)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half: Roberto Inglese (54 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed: Erick Pulgar (134)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): Kevin Lasagna (0 from 13)
Most possession lost: Stefano Sabelli (494)

AND THE TOP NINE:

Most passes failed: Trent Alexander-Arnold (480)
Worst passing accuracy: Suk Hyun-jun (44.8 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Cesar Azpilicueta (132)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Suk Hyun-jun and Matej Vydra (50 per cent)
Most passes failed, opposition half: Trent Alexander-Arnold (359)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half: Anthony Modeste (42.1 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed: Trent Alexander-Arnold (246)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): Wendell and Gabriel Martinelli (0 of 22)
Most times possession lost: Trent Alexander-Arnold (867)

Toulouse have confirmed the sacking of head coach Antoine Kombouare after the Ligue 1 club were dumped out of the Coupe de France by fourth-tier side Saint-Pryve Saint-Hilaire.

Kombouare's men crashed out in the competition's round of 64 on Saturday with Carnejy Antoine scoring in the sixth minute of added time to secure a 1-0 victory for the Championnat National 2 outfit.

It was a 10th defeat in a row for Toulouse in all competitions, the club having slipped to the bottom of the Ligue 1 table after winning two of Kombouare's first three games in charge.

Kombouare was only three months into his contract at Toulouse, which was due to run until 2021, with the ex-PSG coach having now left three clubs since November 2018.

The 56-year-old had short spells with Guingamp and Dijon before failing again with Toulouse, who have put Denis Zanko in temporary charge ahead of Saturday's home league game with Brest.

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