LONDON — Chelsea regained the Women’s Super League trophy after being declared champion on Friday because the season was curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The English Football Association’s board decided to determine the final standings on a points-per-game basis. Manchester City, home to Canadian international Janine Beckie, was a point ahead of Chelsea but had played an extra game when the season was suspended in March.

“Football pales into insignificance at a time like this, but it also has the capacity to bring joy and happiness to fans and communities everywhere,” Chelsea manager Emma Hayes said. "For my players and staff, winning the league is something to be proud of and I will tell them that when I speak to them.

“A lot of blood, sweat and tears from every player, at every club, has gone in to this season and it is important we recognize that and celebrate the fact we have ended a highly-competitive season as champions.”

Chelsea, which also won the league in 2018, had seven games remaining. Defending champion Arsenal finished third.

“Of course we would have preferred to play the remaining games,” Hayes said. “But player welfare was always our priority and finishing the season was ultimately not possible. We have to respect the decision of the FA, clubs and people involved in the game who have decided this was the best and fairest outcome.”

City will qualify for the Champions League with Chelsea. Liverpool has been relegated. Aston Villa was promoted from the Championship, which also had its season curtailed.

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