GENEVA (AFP) – Young Boys won their third Swiss title in a row with a 1-0 victory at Sion late on Friday, sealing their 14th championship with a game to spare.
The Swiss season was the first in Europe to be suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the last matches before the shutdown played on February 23.
Matches resumed on June 19, with the 10 Swiss Super League clubs playing twice a week to complete the remaining third of the 36-game season.
Like the top European leagues, up to five substitutions were permitted per match to reduce the risk of player injury.
In the decisive match, Luxembourg midfielder Christopher Martins notched the winner for Young Boys in the 14th minute at the Stade Tourbillon, with celebrations on and off the pitch at the final whistle.
In their home city of Bern, Switzerland’s capital, thousands of Young Boys fans celebrated all night, with one person seriously injured by fireworks early yesterday.
Young Boys will get to celebrate their title at home to runners-up St Gallen tomorrow at the Stade de Suisse in the final match of the season.
Striker Jean-Pierre Nsame has fired Young Boys towards the title, hitting 30 goals so far in the league campaign.
“This title is deserved. It rewards our efforts and our hard work. We must therefore savour it,” the Cameroon international said, according to Swiss news agency ATS.
“I did not expect to experience such a season: winning the title and scoring 30 goals.”
Nsame does not yet know where his future lies. “The priority is to celebrate this title and then go for the Swiss Cup,” he said, with Young Boys away to Luzern on August 6 in the quarter-finals, which were suspended due to the pandemic.
“At 27, I still have some room for improvement. It’s up to me to take care of the details, which may not have played in my favour this season. I still have a lot to learn. I don’t set any limits for myself.”
Thanks to their third consecutive title, Young Boys will take part in the second qualifying round of the Champions League next season, held in just a few weeks’ time.