Soccer on TV: France’s Ligue 1 has the spotlight to itself

A soccer ball

Four of Europe’s top five leagues suspended their seasons last spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic, then finished their schedules in the summer. The exception was France’s Ligue 1, which ended play in April. So while much of the rest of Europe waits until mid-September to begin the new season — the latest start in years — France has the continental calendar mostly to itself this weekend.

Ligue 1: Nine days after losing to Bayern Munich in a Champions League semifinal, Lyon will play its first Ligue 1 game in nearly six months Friday when it welcomes Dijon into Groupama Stadium (BeIN Sports, noon PDT). Fourteen of the 20 teams in France’s first division began play last week but Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain, which played in Sunday’s Champions League final, were not among them. Also missing in the first week was Marseille, which finished second in the standings in a 2019-20 season shortened by the pandemic. Its opener with Saint-Etienne was postponed after four players tested positive for COVID-19. Marseille is schedule to try again Sunday, this time on the road at Brest (BeIN Sports, noon PDT).