The Belgium first division looked as if it had canceled the rest of its season due to the coronavirus pandemic while declaring Club Brugge as champion last month. But the league still hasn't finalized it as it continues to delay ratifying the decision. The league made an initial announcement in April after a conference call with the board of directors to call it quits. Club Brugge, one of the biggest clubs in the country, was leading the league by 15 points. There was one regular season game remaining for each team before the playoff round that involves six clubs.
But meetings to ratify the decision keep getting pushed back, according to Reuters.
"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," the league said in April. "Even if games behind closed doors could theoretically be possible, the additional pressure they place on health and order services should be avoided. Moreover, decisions by local authorities threaten to make a joint course of match days impossible."
Club Brugge would qualify for the Champions League as a result of winning the league, while Gent would also qualify for its second-place finish -- or, at least, that's how things would shake out if UEFA allows this decision to stand. A report from the Associated Press revealed that UEFA is threatening Champions League qualifications of any league that ends its domestic season prematurely.
"We are confident that football can restart in the months to come - with conditions that will be dictated by public authorities - and believe that any decision of abandoning domestic competitions is, at this stage, premature and not justified," UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin, ECA chairman Andrea Agnelli and EL president Lars-Christer Olsson stated in a letter the AP obtained.
Last place Waasland-Beveren would be relegated after finishing with 20 points, though technically the club was still alive in the fight for survival before play stopped. The club entered the final matchday two points back of safety with three points up for grabs.
The league looked to be the first one in Europe to have its season officially canceled, but that distinction went to France's Ligue 1 which announced the completion of its season last week with Paris Saint-Germain winning the title.