Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has insisted that Liverpool should be awarded the Premier League title if the season can’t be completed due to the coronavirus crisis.
The Merseyside giants were on the verge of sealing the title prior to the suspension of the campaign, as they sit 25 points clear at the top of the standings with nine games to be played.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have been utterly dominant this season, winning 27 of their 29 games while boasting the second best attack in the top flight and the best defensive record.
In turn, few will argue that they don’t deserve to win the crown, and Rudiger has echoed that sentiment by suggesting that if the season can’t be completed, then the Reds should be awarded the title regardless.
“Honestly, as far as I’m concerned they can give Liverpool the title. At the end of the day they deserve it, they’ve had a great season and are leading the table with, oh I don’t know how many points,” he told ZDF, as translated by Sky Sports.
“The thing is they were going to win the thing anyway, so I think the title is theirs ethically. Of course, I hope that the season can be finished and it will be sporting for everyone.
“If we continue to play and there is a danger, and we ignore that while people are dying somewhere in the world, I don’t know if that would sit right on my conscience.
“If everything fits and it comes from those in charge that it’s okay, there’s no danger, then we can start. But if there is a danger that it will start again and more people will get infected [we can’t start again].”
It’s difficult to disagree with anything that the German international says above, but time will tell if that’s the route followed by the relevant governing bodies in the coming weeks as given the financial concerns involved, they may continue to push to try and complete the remaining games when it is considered safe to do so.
While Paris Saint-Germain were confirmed as Ligue 1 champions on Thursday after the French government banned all sporting events until later this year, it remains to be seen if the Premier League follows suit and if that means Liverpool end their long wait for another domestic league title.
In contrast, the likes of Germany and Portugal are expected to resume their respective leagues this month, and so it all seemingly hinges on whether or not the UK government give the green light to sports to resume behind closed doors, and what measures are taken by the football authorities to ensure the safety of the players and all concerned in what would be a controlled environment to allay fears such as those expressed by Rudiger above.