BOSSES of Belgium’s premier division, the Jupiler Pro League, have ended the season early and awarded Club Brugge the title.

The Belgian FA are the first UEFA member nation to take a stance on how their league season will be played out, after the coronavirus outbreak postponed all football indefinitely.

And they have opted to finish the season as it stands, meaning Brugge, who had a 15-point lead over second placed Gent, will be crowned champions. 

The league board will hold a further meeting to ratify the decision, determine how prize money is distributed and decide on promotion and relegation places ahead of the new campaign. League blazers are still hopeful that both the cup final and promotion decider between Beerschot and OH Leuven can be played out.

A statement from the Pro League, read: “The Board of Directors has taken note of the recommendations of Dr Van Ranst and the authorities, according to which it is very unlikely that matches with the public can take place before June 30. The current situation does not allow us to know if and when a resumption of collective training can be planned.

“In addition, a resumption of competition could not exclude the risks to the health of players, employees and all those involved in the organisation of matches and in maintaining order. In addition, the possible contamination of a player or a core of players risks influencing the sporting development of the rest of the competition in an unacceptable manner.

“Even if closed matches were theoretically possible, the additional pressure that the organisation of such matches would place on health services and law enforcement should be avoided. In addition, the decisions of the local authorities threaten to make it impossible to run the championship days simultaneously.

“The Board of Directors unanimously decided that it was not desirable, whatever the scenario envisaged, to continue the competition after June 30. Taking into account the above elements, the Board of Directors formulated a unanimous opinion to the General Assembly in order not to resume the competitions of the 19-20 season and to accept the current classification of the Jupiler Pro League as classification final (subject to the decisions of the Licensing Commission).”

Scottish football fans will take a keen interest in the announcement, with the SPFL and SFA no further forward in deciding the best way forward for Scotland’s game.

Some argue the likes of Celtic, Dundee United and Raith Rovers should be named champions, while others believe all league campaigns should be declared null and void.

Plans to expand the Ladbrokes Premiership to 14 teams next season if the 2019/20 campaign is unable to be completed because of the Covid-19 outbreak – so that bottom-placed Hearts aren’t relegated and runaway Championship leaders Dundee United are promoted – have also been discussed.

Reports suggest Scottish football bosses have provisionally been given a late July deadline to complete all league campaigns.

The SFA were part of a 55 nation UEFA video conference on Wednesday, where the European governing body scrapped June deadlines after deciding they were too unrealistic.

The July timeframe has been put in place in the hope that Scotland’s Europa League participants can be decided ahead of qualifying for the 2020/21 competition.