Chelsea was officially declared the champion of the Women’s Super League in England on Friday. This may seem like a puzzling decision, given that when the season was halted because of the coronavirus pandemic, Chelsea was in second place.
Manchester City unceremoniously “finished” its season with 40 points, and Chelsea with 39. But because the season was suddenly halted midstream, not every team had played the same number of games: Some had played 16, others as few as 13.
The solution was to decide the title on a points-per-game basis. Manchester City’s 40 points came in 16 games, or an average of 2.5 points per game. Chelsea’s 39 points in 15 games came to 2.6.
Manchester City took the high road, tweeting congratulations to Chelsea. The comments on the tweet from City fans went the other way though, with remarks like “unfair,” “absolute disgrace” and “hollow title.”
The issue will not arise in the men’s Premier League, because every effort is being made to complete its season, with an eye toward hanging on to billions in international television and gate money.
Sports Is Back. So Are Angry Fans.
Fans everywhere, after months of being starved for action, have welcomed back their sporting heroes with joy and gratitude.
Except, perhaps, in Portugal.
Benfica had its first match since the return of the Primeira soccer league on Thursday, a home game against Tondela. The match ended in a 0-0 draw, but that result did not sit well with some fans. So a few of them stoned the team’s bus.
Two cobblestones thrown from an overpass crashed through windows of the bus. Two players, Julian Weigl and Andrija Zivkovic, were slightly injured by the broken glass.
“Hey everyone, I just want to let you know that I’m ok. We were really lucky!” Weigl wrote on Instagram. “We are all doing mistakes but there was a line crossed! Throwing rocks on a bus without caring if someone gets hurt? I know that’s not how the real Benfica fans are!”
The houses of several Benfica players were tagged with threatening graffiti after the game as well, the police said. Based on the graffiti content, the vandalism appeared to be the work of Benfica fans, the police said.
And how is Benfica doing in the league, given how incensed the fans are?
They are in first place. Welcome back, sports.
You Want Some Rugby With That Pint?
The National Rugby League in Australia restarted May 28, but because of coronavirus restrictions, no fans were allowed in the stadiums. But now the league seems to have found a way to get some fans inside, one which U.S.-based teams might be able to imitate.
The rules in Australia currently permit pubs, clubs and restaurants to admit customers, as long as there is no more than one person for every four square meters. So why not declare the rugby stadiums’ luxury boxes to be pubs, clubs or restaurants?
The New South Wales government allowed the scheme, and this weekend about 50 people will be allowed in each corporate box. Er, “pub.”
The league plans to expand the plan to Queensland and Victoria if all goes well this weekend. It hopes to have fans back in the regular seats in July.