Dubai: Neymar Junior’s Paris Saint-Germain have been named the 2020 Ligue 1 champions after France’s football league declared the season over late on Thursday.
PSG was leading the standings by 12 points from Marseille when the season was suspended in mid-March because of the coronavirus outbreak which has so far killed more than 24,000 people in France.
The announcement from the LFP came in the wake of Prime Minister Edouard Philippe’s call earlier this week that “professional sports leagues, notably football, cannot restart” because of the risks linked to the pandemic.
“There is no ambiguity about this declaration. We needed to make a final decision about this season. We acknowledge that the 2019-2020 season is over,” LFP president Nathalie Boy de la Tour said in a statement.
The LFP further said that a final table had been arranged on the basis of average points per game. Ten rounds of matches remained when the campaign was halted, although PSG and Strasbourg both had an extra game in hand.
As a result of the decision, Marseille and Rennes will join PSG in the Uefa Champions League next season, while fourth-placed Lille will feature in the Europa League. The two teams at the bottom of the standings - Toulouse and Amiens – will be relegated, while Lorient and Lens will make their way back into Ligue 1 from Ligue 2.
The identity of the other European representatives depends on whether the finals of the two domestic cups are played in the near future. Large gatherings of people remain banned in France until September.
However, if the French government and the Uefa accept, both cup finals could yet be staged in August as there are European places still up for grabs.
PSG were due to play Lyon in the League Cup final and Saint-Etienne in the French Cup final. If the games are played, Lyon and Saint-Etienne would qualify for the Europa League – provided they win.
Lyon, who are currently seventh in the standings table, would otherwise stand to miss out on European qualification for the first time in more than two decades.