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 By Ian Holyman

Luzenac given hope by French court

Luzenac have been preparing for life in Ligue 2.

French minnows Luzenac have won court backing in their bid to play in Ligue 2 this season, but will still not kick off the second-tier campaign on Friday.

The unheralded club, which represents a village of some 600 inhabitants and boasts Fabien Barthez as director general, heard Toulouse's Administrative Court overrule the decisions of both the DNCG and France's Olympic Committee (CNOSF), which had invalidated Luzenac's promotion from the National division.

The DNCG, which oversees the financial health of clubs, had stated Luzenac were not in a position to play in Ligue 2, a decision backed up on appeal and also reinforced by a ruling of the CNOSF.

However, Judge Lucile Benatia overruled both bodies on Friday, though merely asked the DNCG to re-examine the club's case within eight days.

That decision means Luzenac will not take part in the opening round of Ligue 2 games on Friday evening, and with Chateauroux -- relegated last season only to be reinstated at Luzenac's expense -- confirmed in their position within the second tier, the French Football League faces the prospect of having a 21-team division.


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