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Ligue 1 planning pre-season tournament in US to accelerate international growth

France’s Professional Football League (LFP) is exploring the idea of setting up a pre-season tournament in the United States as it looks to accelerate the international development of its top tier, Ligue 1.

The league has reached out to Relevent Sports to help it organise the competition, which it hopes will act as a showcase for Ligue 1 football. Relevent is responsible for the pre-season International Champions Cup, and recently worked with Spain’s LaLiga on its failed attempts to stage a regular season fixture in the US.

Didier Quillot, executive director of the LFP, named the US as a priority market for Ligue 1, alongside India and China, at an event unveiling two new commercials promoting the division as “the League of Talents” in France yesterday.

The intention is to launch the tournament in the summer of 2019, with four Ligue 1 teams competing in two semi-finals and a final. LFP has not confirmed the identity of the sides involved, although league champions Paris Saint-Germain will not be one of them, as it is embarking on a tour of Asia in July. According to French outlet Ecofoot, Lyon, Monaco, Marseilles and Stade Rennais are the teams expected to play in the new competition.