Deciding LaLiga: Barcelona may look to the recent case in Chile
Last season, the Chilean league was suspended due to upheavel caused by long-running protests, which led to Universidad Católica being crowned champions with six games left to be played.
The possibility of Barcelona being crowned league champions with eleven games still left to be played is one of the scenarios currently being considered by those in Spanish football amid the coronavirus pandemic that has ground European football to a standstill.
Although LaLiga, the clubs and players themselves are in favour of playing out what remains of the competition, the tremendous problems that could arise in the face of trying to conclude the season means several solutions have been put on the table.
And among them would be to conclude the league with the current classification as it stands. Consequently, Barcelona, currently with a two-point lead over second placed Real Madrid, would be champions. It would undoubtedly be a controversial decision considering there is such a small gap between the two title contenders.
The Chilean case would favour Barcelona
Such scenarios have happened on other occasions in the past, most recently in Chile, where the social upheaval as a result of long-running protests against the government forced the suspension of the national league in 2019. As a result, Universidad Católica, the league leader at the moment when the league was halted, was named the 2019 champion.
However, there are a couple a differences in the cases of Católica and Barça. To start, in Chile there were only six left to completed, almost half the amount that currently remain in this season’s LaLiga. Furthermore, and most importantly, Católica held a 13-point advantage over second placed Colo-Colo, a much bigger gap compared to the current two-point margin between Barcelona and Madrid.
The Chilean federation’s decision was controversial, in any case, as it also impacted the classification of clubs for the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana. Much to their frustration, those clubs who still had a decent opportunity to qualify, but were not among the qualifying positions at the time, were ruled out. The federation also determined that bottom-placed teams would not be relegated – a measure that was chosen by vote.
For now, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens in Spain and across European leagues.
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