Women’s Super League in England canceled because of virus

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Manchester City’s Pauline Bremer, right, celebrates scoring against Everton during the Women’s Super League match at the Academy Stadium, Manchester, England, Saturday Jan. 11, 2020. (Anthony Devlin/PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) — The top women’s soccer league in England was canceled with immediate effect Monday because of the coronavirus outbreak, with no decision reached on which teams have won the title and been relegated.

The decision was taken to end the Women’s Super League following “overwhelming feedback from the clubs,” the Football Association said, and to give them the chance to “prepare and focus on next season.”

Manchester City was leading the league by a point from Chelsea, which had seven games still to play — one more than City. Defending champion Arsenal was a further three points behind and also had a game in hand. If the league was decided on average points per game, Chelsea would win the title.

“Whilst disappointed that we are unable to complete the season,” City said in a statement, “we understand the complexities of the situation and support the FA’s decision.”

Liverpool was in last place in the 12-team division, a point behind Birmingham having played one game more.

Clubs have “discussed various recommendations which will be sent to the FA Board to determine the most appropriate sporting outcome for the 2019/20 season,” the FA said. That includes which two teams should represent England in the Women’s Champions League next season.

The second-tier Women’s Championship has also been canceled.

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