The Coronavirus pandemic was always going to throw up a series of obstacles for the world of football, and that goes for every single organization, league and club imaginable.
In the midst of so much uncertainty, teams and leagues have had to make decisions that otherwise would’ve been unthinkable. While the likes of the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A all appear set to soldier on and continue to put on matches, Ligue 1 and Eredivisie have taken a different approach.
The two leagues have made the tough call to void their seasons, with the Dutch league deciding that there will be no promotions, relegations or champions crowned.
Ligue 1, on the other hand, have indeed finalized a definitive league table – which has allowed Paris Saint-Germain to claim the French championship once again.
“The Board of Directors voted unanimously to award the Ligue 1 Conforama championship to Paris Saint-Germain and the Domino’s Ligue 2 championship to FC Lorient for the 2019/20 season.
The Board of Directors has decided that two clubs will be relegated from Ligue 1 to Ligue 2 and two clubs will be promoted from Ligue 2 to Ligue 1.
The Board of Directors will ask the General Assembly to decide upon the structure of Ligue 2 and the promotion and relegation between Ligue 2 and National (Division 3).
The Board of Directors reiterates that the objective is to restart Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 on 22 and 23 August 2020, at the latest. The official start dates for the 2020/21 season will be finalised in agreement with the official broadcasters (Médiapro, Canal+, Free, beIN SPORTS), and in accordance with governmental decisions.”
While people are bound to criticize the decisions that have been made here, regardless of whether or not they support the clubs involved, it shows a lot of strength to be one of the first major players in Europe to make this decision.
There are plenty of other sports out there right now that haven’t even begun to consider what’s going to happen when they try and restart proceedings, because how can they?
There are still so, so many things we don’t yet know about what this virus is capable of and how long these social distancing measures are going to be kept in place. It truly is an unknown and terrifying time that we’re living through, to the point where it’s easy to imagine a scenario in which more than one million deaths are lost worldwide.
For now, all we can do is wait and see what the remainder of the top European leagues – and the MLS – decide to do about this. Some will try and carry on as usual, whereas others will call it quits and decide not to continue.
Perhaps the biggest controversy will come in the Premier League, where Liverpool are on the verge of winning the title by a landslide. Whether or not they’re able to get over the finish line is the big source of debate, because right now, it’s safe to say that things aren’t looking good.
Then again, none of that really matters, does it?