Paris Saint-Germain were declared champion of France’s top-flight league – French Ligue 1 on Thursday after the season ended prematurely because of the Coronavirus pandemic which has gripped the entire world. The announcement from the league followed the French government’s decision on Tuesday to call off the soccer and rugby seasons in the country to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Owned by Qatar Sports Investments, Paris Saint-Germain have lifted their seventh Ligue 1 title in eight years. PSG had a comfortable 12-point lead over second-placed Olympique de Marseille when the season was suspended with 10 games left. Also Read - UK Government Gives Green Light to Sport Behind Close Doors From June 1
“Following the cessation of Ligue 1 and the elaboration of the classification by a performance index taking into account the number of points scored on all the games played, Paris Saint-Germain obtained its 9th title in the league,” the league said in its statement. Also Read - Leicester City Manager Brendan Rodgers Tests Positive For Coronavirus
This is PSG’s seventh title in the last eight years and their ninth title overall, thus making them the joint-second most successful club in the French league alongwith Olympique Marseille. Saint-Etienne are the most successful with 10 titles, the last of which they won in 1981. Also Read - Roger Federer Edges Out Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi to Become World's Highest-paid Athlete in Forbes' List
Second-placed Marseille and third-place Stade Rennais finish in the Champions League positions while Lille, Stade de Reims and Nice qualify for the Europa League.
Meanwhile, Amiens and Toulouse have been relegated to Ligue 2 while Lorien and Lend have been promoted to Ligue 1.
Earlier, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told the country’s national assembly, while addressing plans to ease the lockdown in France that had been put in place to fight the coronavirus pandemic, that “the 2019-20 season of professional sports, including football, will not be able to resume” before September.
“It will be possible, on sunny days, to practice an individual sporting activity outdoors, obviously respecting the rules of social distancing. It will not be possible, neither to practice sport in covered places, nor team or contact sports,” he said.
European football governing body UEFA has given a May 25 deadline to national football associations to provide plans of restarting their respective leagues.