Football: Understand all about Ligue 1 news

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Wind of French football news: The 2022-2023 Ligue 1 season, which kicks off on August 5, features four runs to Ligue 2, a reduction in format that also comes with a new calendar, a brand new ball and unlikely back numbers.

Beware of the red zone

The increase from Ligue 1 to 18 clubs from next season (2023-2024), implemented in 2021 by clubs that want to enhance the attractiveness of their product, especially with broadcasters, and sharpen competition, has serious consequences for the coming season.

To go from 20 to 18 without robbing Ligue 2 of its top tier promotions, four clubs will descend into the elite front room this season, and two teams will do the opposite. The entry roadblocks will be removed for this season.

The red zone will therefore be historically large: a 17th place this year will not be enough to maintain itself. “With four runs at the end of the exercise, all teams will try to score as many points as possible as quickly as possible. We will have to be 100% ready from the first meeting so as not to be left behind,” said Reims coach Oscar Garcia. who will fight for maintenance like the newly promoted Toulouse, Ajaccio and Auxerre, or even Lorient, Brest and Clermont.

The same opinion on the Clermont side: “Our first year was so difficult that I don’t know if the second can be more difficult. Even if it will be more difficult with the four descents, we have no right to be surprised by the level of the Ligue 1”, launched Auvergne midfielder Yohann Magnin.

Boxing Day and postponed ceasefire

The season will be all the more atypical as it will be completely disrupted by the hosting of the 2022 World Cup just before winter in Qatar (November 21 – December 18). This will mean an unusual 45-day truce without a Ligue 1 game between November 13 and December 28, forcing teams to adjust their preparations, even if it means getting players a few days off in the heart of the fall .

“The players will have a 15-day holiday in mid-November and we will start again with a new four-week preparation,” explains Michel Der Zakarian, Brest’s coach. For the teams playing the European Cups, this new calendar condenses the first part of the season, with a tighter group stage of the Champions League in September-October, encouraging the strengthening of the workforce. “It changes the schedule. From August 7 to November 2, there will be a lot of matches, so it will be important to have different profiles because we play every three days,” said Marseille president Pablo Longoria.

This World Cup at the end of the calendar year disrupts the traditional winter break, inscribed in the marble of the professional football charter dear to the Players’ Union (UNFP), which requires a free period “of at least 2 weeks at the time of Christmas and New Year”. The truce this time will be anticipated and the holiday period is reserved for a French “Boxing Day”, with two days around the New Year, December 28 and then January 1 and 2, with different times than the other championship days.

Ball Kipsta, N.99…

Undoubtedly less disturbing than the previous two, another novelty arrives at the Ligue 1 stadiums: the official ball changes face and manufacturer, following the signing by the Professional Football League (LFP) of an agreement with equipment supplier French Decathlon, whose brand Kipsta players a ball in blue-white-red colors.

Other news that will delight jersey manufacturers, official shops and superstitious players: the ability, now, for L1 footballers to pick numbers up to 99, which was previously impossible outside the N.30 – normally reserved for goalkeepers, such as 1 and 16 – without exception. For example, Paris SG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma had to request a waiver last season to wear his number 50.

That will no longer be necessary, with undoubtedly some imaginative figures in the stadiums of L1. This new arrangement quickly made people happy: rookie from Brest, Noah Fadiga chose the N.99…

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