Club Brugge crowned Belgian champion after league shutdown

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) — Club Brugge has been be awarded its 16th Belgian title after the country’s professional soccer league announced the end of the season with the current standings declared final.

The league’s decision was widely expected after Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes said earlier this month that all sporting competitions in the country would remain suspended until July 31 because of the coronavirus crisis.

Brugge was 15 points ahead of second-placed Gent with one game to go before the season-ending playoffs when the league was suspended. As a result, Brugge also qualified for next season’s Champions League and last-placed Waasland-Beveren was demoted.

After a meeting of its general assembly, the league also announced it will try to organize the Belgian Cup final between Brugge and Antwerp during the first weekend of August, just before the Aug. 3 deadline set by UEFA, a week ahead of the new season which is set to start on Aug. 7.

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