April 27, 2020 / 4:56 PM / 4 months ago

Belgian clubs postpone vote on ratifying season’s end

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian clubs on Monday postponed a vote on confirming the cancellation of the rest of the season until next week, keeping open the door for a possible resumption.

Following a decision taken at the beginning of the month, the 24 clubs of the Pro League had been scheduled to confirm the premature ending of this season’s campaign due to the COVID-19 pandemic but delayed the decision, a statement said.

The vote will now be held next Monday, May 4 as Belgian sport awaits more clarity on the possible easing of lockdown rules and a window of opportunity to continue playing.

“The clubs came together to discuss the repercussions of the coronavirus and were given detailed information about the extremely complex situation that the crisis has created,” the Pro League said.

“The majority of clubs agreed to postpone the vote to conclude the season.”

Belgium was the first league in Europe to call off the remainder of its season, a decision taken by the board of the Pro League.

It came after 17 of its financially-strapped clubs clamoured in late March for the season to be halted in an open letter to the league.

Runaway league leaders Club Brugge were declared champions as it was expected the board’s decision would be ratified by the clubs, but the meeting to do so was then twice postponed.

On Monday, clubs decided to wait as more clarity is expected at the end of the week from the Belgian government over possible easing of restrictions. The league and the Belgian football association were due to meet authorities on Monday.

Also still to be decided is promotion and relegation, as well as places in next season’s European club competitions. That has been referred to a working group, which Monday’s meeting agreed to expand, the statement said.

Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Pritha Sarkar

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