Club Brugge crowned league champions of Belgian soccer, following the league’s Board of Directors decision to not resume the season. The Belgium soccer league has become the first top-tier European league to cancel the rest of its season following a conference call of last week. If granted, the league says Club Brugge would be awarded the title at a general assembly meeting on April 15.
“The Board of Directors took note of the recommendations of Dr. Van Ranst and the government that it is highly unlikely that games with the public will be played before June 30. The current situation also makes it very unclear whether and when a resumption of collective training courses can be foreseen at all,” said the league in a statement.
Brugge is currently 15 points ahead of second-place Gent with one game to go before the season-ending playoffs. Gent have secured a Champions League place as the league’s runners-up while last year’s champions Genk come in seventh place. It also means, Brugge would also qualify for next season’s Champions League.
“Even if games behind closed doors could theoretically be possible, the additional pressure they place on health and order services should be avoided,” the Belgium soccer league statement added. The decision must be approved by the 24 clubs in the top two divisions but 17 of them had already called for the season to be cancelled ahead of the meeting.
“The Board of Directors has unanimously decided that it is not desirable to continue the competition after June 30. Given the above elements, the Board of Directors has formulated a unanimous advice to the General Meeting not to resume the competitions of the season ’19 -’20 and to accept the current state of the Jupiler Pro League as final classification.”
The Belgian league’s decision came shortly before UEFA, the European Club Association and the European Leagues umbrella group sent a joint letter to their members saying it was of “paramount importance” that competitions, including domestic leagues, were decided on the field. A meeting will be held on April 15 to officiate the decision.
The majority of Belgium’s professional clubs had been urging for a cancellation of the season due to the mounting costs of having no revenue while the country has had more than 19,000 confirmed cases and over 1,000 fatalities from the deadly virus. UEFA, however, informed its members by letter that a concrete plan to resume the European season in July or August will be rolled out by mid-May.
Last month, a tough decision was made by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), as their largest European Championship men’s soccer tournament was called-off and will resume after a year due to the threat of global pandemic, COVID, which is currently crippling European countries. The most glorious 24-team European Championship
Meanwhile, domestic league season remains in jeopardy with the Football Association (FA) recently confirmed that all professional football in England, including the Premier League, will be halted indefinitely, while Italy’s sports minister to propose the extension of ban on all sports events and competitions in the country “to the whole of April”.