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COVID-19 sees Trophée des Champions return to France

The French Football League (LFP) has announced that its Trophée des Champions event will be held in France for the first time since 2008, with hosting rights awarded to Stade Bollaert-Delelis, the home of Ligue 1 club RC Lens.

The traditional curtain-raiser to the new season pits the reigning Ligue 1 and Coupe de France champions against each other. The game was last held in France in 2008 when Bordeaux’s Stade Chaban-Delmas played host, with the LFP having since adopted a strategy of taking the event abroad.

This season’s game was due to have been held in the Ivory Coast back in August, but the situation concerning COVID-19 has necessitated a rethink with Lens now due to host on January 13. Paris Saint-Germain won both Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France last season so will face league runner-up Olympique de Marseille.

The 2019 and 2018 Trophée des Champions were staged at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Centre, with China also playing host in 2014 at the Workers’ Stadium in Beijing. The Canadian city of Montreal has staged the event twice at the Stade Olympique and Stade Saputo, respectively, in 2009 and 2015.

The Trophée des Champions has also taken to the Stade de Tanger in Morocco twice, in 2011 and 2017. Stade de l’Amitié in Libreville, Gabon, played host in 2013, while Africa was also the destination in 2010 at the Hamadi Agrebi Stadium in Tunis, Tunisia.

In 2012, the Trophée des Champions headed to the United States at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey, while its sole European outing outside France came in 2016 at the Wörthersee Stadion in Klagenfurt, Austria.

Image: Liondartois/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size