PARIS: French league president Frederic Thiriez has hit back at an interfering decision by the federation to cancel its plan for a tightened two-up/two-down relegation and promotion format.

The federation opposed this on the grounds that the league was trying to seal up an elite competition.

Thiriez said: “The federation has just taken serious responsibility inĀ  creating a major conflict with the league. It is a decision that I consider illegal and serious for the future of football.”

He has already appealed to the national council for a suspension of the FFF order pending a full hearing.

Thiriez added: “I do this with a heavy heart but I am responsible for the decisions of the board of the league and to guard its right to make its own decisions with regard to the organisation of our professional leagues.”

Federation president Noel Le Graet urged the league to take a step back before launching into full-scale confrontation over a decision taken for the greater good of the national game.

He said: “The federation considered that the league’s decision was a poor one. Now we expect to see the league implementing what has been decided by the federation’s executive committee. We sincerely hope that the league can be ‘home’ of all professionals. The reform must be made.

“The league should calm down and should respect those who are not in the top division as well as the unity of football and respect those who do not share its beliefs.”