Football | Club Brugge to be awarded Belgian title after season cancellation

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Club Brugge are set to be awarded the Belgian Pro League title after the season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Philippe Clement’s side are 15 points clear of second-placed Gent at the summit of the table with one game of the regular season remaining.

The league has decided to cancel the last fixture of the season, as well as the subsequent play-offs determine the top spots, making Belgium Europe’s first major league to cancel their season due to the coronavirus.

Therefore, the league’s current standings will be taken as the 16-club division’s final placings for the 2019/20 season.

The decision, which has been recommended to the to the general assembly by the league’s board of directors, is set to be made official on April 15th.

“The Pro League board of directors met today by conference call. The most important item on the agenda was obviously the issue of continued competition in the context of the coronavirus crisis,” a league statement read.

“The current situation, particularly precarious, in which our country finds itself has as a consequence that sport is not and cannot be considered as the first concern, however entertaining and relaxing it may be.

“In this context, it is the responsibility of the Board of Directors to make a recommendation, taking into account public health, the interests of all stakeholders and the wishes of the majority of clubs. to not resume competition.

“The Board of Directors has taken note of the recommendations of the authorities, according to which it is very unlikely that matches with the public can take place before June 30. The current situation does not allow us to know if and when a resumption of collective training can be planned.

“In addition, a resumption of competition could not exclude the risks to the health of players, employees and all those involved in the organisation of matches and in maintaining order. In addition, the possible contamination of a player or a core of players risks influencing the sporting development of the rest of the competition in an unacceptable manner.

“Even if closed matches were theoretically possible, the additional pressure that the organisation of such matches would place on health services and law enforcement should be avoided. In addition, the decisions of the local authorities threaten to make it impossible to run the championship days simultaneously.

“The Board of Directors unanimously decided that it was not desirable, whatever the scenario envisaged, to continue the competition after June 30. Taking into account the above elements, the Board of Directors made a unanimous recommendation to not resume the competitions of the 2019-20 season and to accept the current classification of the Jupiler Pro League as classification final, subject to the decisions of the licensing commission.”

Club Brugge have reclaimed their title from Genk, who were the champions in the 2018/19 season.

The Belgian club have collected 70 points from 29 matches, suffering just one defeat in the league.