Ligue 1 authorities looking to hold Monaco-Lyon game in China

Ligue 1 authorities looking to hold Monaco-Lyon game in China

L’Équipe report today that the LFP are looking to play next February’s Monaco-Lyon fixture in Shanghai, pending the approval of FIFA.

As the Ligue 1 authorities look for new ways to market the league in the wake of last year’s broadcasting rights disaster, the latest proposal is to play a match in China, namely the match that would have been played at Monaco’s Stade-Louis II on Matchday 23.

With Ligue 1 rights being undersold abroad – €73m annually, compared to €710m for Spanish football and €1.4bn for English football – it’s hoped that the match, which will be held before European cup or International commitments come into play, will make a positive impact.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has indicated that the project has his approval – pending logistical issues – and that of Monaco as well, having met over dinner with Monaco vice president Oleg Petrov – “It’s an ambitious operation for Ligue 1’s image and its broadcasting.”

The two clubs have links to China – Lyon have a Chinese shareholder and sponsors from the country, whilst Monaco and president Dimitry Rybolovlev have commercial links there.

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The project would nevertheless require FIFA’s approval. Although the Trophée des Champions can be held abroad, league games appear to be another matter – La Liga had already tried in 2019 to convince FIFA to hold a Villarreal-Atlético Madrid fixture in Miami, to no avail. Another attempt was made last year for Girona-Barcelona, again turned down.