PARIS (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) were named as Ligue 1 champions on Thursday after France’s football league declared the coronavirus-hit season over, leaving some other clubs disappointed and pondering legal action.
PSG led the table by 12 points from Marseille when the season was suspended in mid-March because of the COVID-19 outbreak, which has killed over 24,000 people in France.
The announcement by the LFP comes after Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Tuesday that “professional sports leagues, notably football, cannot restart” because of the pandemic.
“There is no ambiguity about this declaration. We needed to make a final decision about this season. We acknowledge that the 2019-20 season is over,” said LFP president Nathalie Boy de la Tour, in a conference call with reporters.
France becomes the biggest European league yet to end its season, just as its neighbours in England, Germany, Italy and Spain consider ways of resuming matches.
Ruling out any possibility of copying the Netherlands, who voided their season without a champion, relegation or promotion, the LFP arranged a final table on the basis of average points per game.
Ten rounds of matches remained when the campaign was halted, although PSG and Strasbourg both had a game in hand.
As a result, PSG are champions with an average of 2.52 points per game, with Andre Villas-Boas’s Marseille second with an average of 2 points and qualifying for the Champions League.
“We wish to dedicate this title to all health workers and other everyday heroes whose commitment and self-sacrifice throughout these long weeks deserve our admiration,” said PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi.