Paris Saint-Germain crowned French champion after Ligue 1's cancellation
Paris Saint-Germain has officially been named Ligue 1 champion two days after France’s top flight cancelled the remainder of its season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision was made following a meeting of the Ligue de Football Professionnel in Paris on Thursday, when the LFP agreed that the final standings would be determined by points per game. PSG was well on its way to a seventh title in eight seasons when the league went dark in March, as they were 12 points clear of second-place Marseille. Both clubs will qualify for next season’s Champions League, while third-place Rennes will enter that competition in the third qualifying round.
The move to award PSG the trophy for the ninth time in club history is in line with UEFA’s guidance that “common sense” ought to prevail when it comes to ending seasons that can’t be completed on the field of play. The Dutch Eredivisie already declined to name a champion, but France made a different call.
Several of Europe’s other top circuits, including England’s Premier League and Germany’s Bundesliga, are still hoping to finish their remaining slates in empty stadiums this summer, although it remains to be seen whether that’s possible. Both the French and Dutch leagues had hoped to resume in the summer, too, but were left without the option after health officials in both countries banned sporting events until September.
Thursday’s news has to make Premier League-leading Liverpool feel better about its chances of claiming the English domestic crown for the first time in 30 years. While Dutch titan Ajax led the Eredivise over AZ Alkmaar only on goal differential and the Bundesliga, Italy’s Serie A and Spain’s La Liga were similarly close at the top, Jurgen Klopp’s team was a whopping 25 points up on Manchester City when the season was suspended.
When the Royal Dutch Football Association declined to name a champ, Reds fans across the globe understandably worried that a similar approach rob the reigning European champion of the prize it both coveted most and clearly deserved after tearing through the Prem this season. Through 29 league games, Liverpool had posted an otherworldly record of 27 wins, one draw, and a single loss. That lone defeat, against lowly Watford, came just two weeks before play ground to a halt.
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