Sports chiefs face tough decisions

A general view of The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, best known as the venue for the Wimbledon Championships, on March 26, 2020 in London, England.
A general view of The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, best known as the venue for the Wimbledon Championships, on March 26, 2020 in London, England.

Major decisions are awaiting sports bosses around the globe as they wrestle with the impact Covid-19  has imposed on them. If there was any doubt as to the severity the virus posed, it ended when time-honoured events like the Olympic Games and Wimbledon were put on ice. To put that into perspective, Wimbledon has been held every year since 1946 after a six-year gap because the country was at war.

But there are other delicate decisions, which could have legal implications, for sports such as soccer and rugby.

In England, for example, if the English Premiership does not resume, big decisions will have to be made.

Will runaway leaders Liverpool be crowned champions if the league does not resume?

Then there is the emotive issue of promotion and relegation, which has huge financial implications for clubs.

Many believe it will be a travesty if clear log leaders Liverpool are not crowned champions of England.

A decision made by Belgian soccer chiefs may offer a solution to soccer leagues in crisis, including the Absa Premiership, around the world.

Belgium became the first major European league to cancel the rest of the football season.

The Jupiler Pro League’s board of directors have recommended the season should be ended early due to the coronavirus pandemic.

If so, Club Brugge would be crowned champions under the recommendation, which needs to be endorsed at a general assembly meeting on April 15.

That process is understood to be a formality and has been met with with widespread approval from fans who wanted to see a winner of their premier league.

Club Brugge were 15 points clear at the top of the Pro League, with one game remaining of the regular season when the league was cancelled.

After the regular season, the top six teams were due to compete in a play-off competition to determine the champion, but that has now been cast aside.

If English soccer chiefs opt to follow the same route, it would see Liverpool clinch the Premier League.

If SA bosses also opt for that route, then Kaizer Chiefs would be crowned Premiership champions. 

There has also been talk that English soccer chiefs may complete their league in China as they desperately look to salvage their disrupted competition, which has a worldwide fan base.

Tough decisions, with massive implications, have to made sooner rather than later.

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