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'You have to be fair': Manchester City's Gundogan calls for Liverpool to be awarded title as players call for coronavirus clarity

'You have to be fair': Manchester City's Gundogan calls for Liverpool to be awarded title as players call for coronavirus clarity
Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan says that champions-elect Liverpool should be awarded the Premier League title as various players express confusion over when, or if, the league season will resume.

If this were any other year, Liverpool would have most likely been crowned as Premier League champions by now. Jurgen Klopp's record-breaking title-chasers have been peerless this season as they pursue the club's first English top division title in 30 years, nd bid to end a drought that has consumed the city for three decades.

Indeed, it appears that only a global pandemic can stop them. The coronavirus outbreak has forced a temporary cessation of most major sports leagues across the world and, with it, has brought a stifling degree of uncertainty regarding the potential of fulfilling of the league's remaining fixtures. 

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Potential theories have been floated about how best to resolve the season. One is to play the remaining games in the summer window previously occupied by the now-postponed UEFA European Championships. Another is to delay the start of next season to allow for the conclusion of the current one.

The coronavirus, though, follows no such timetable. Due to COVID-19 affecting different regions at different rates, it is nearly impossible to select a "one size fits all" approach when it comes the resumption of the beautiful game in the age of social distancing. 

The best thing, says Manchester City's Gundogan, is to acknowledge Liverpool's 25-point league at the summit of the table and award them the appropriate silverware.

"You have to be fair as a sportsperson," the German midfielder told broadcaster ZDF.

"There are different opinions. For clubs who have had a very good season, it obviously wouldn't be nice if it was canceled now. On the other hand, for clubs who aren't doing as well and are maybe in the relegation places, an abandonment would obviously suit them."

England captain Harry Kane has also called for English football's authorities to make their stance on the issue clearer.

"I know the Premier League will do everything it can to finish the season," he said in an Instagram conversation with pundit and former player Jamie Redknapp.

"There needs to be a point where enough is enough. Probably the limit for me is the end of June. Playing into July or August and pushing next season back, I don't see too much benefit in that.

"Obviously I don't know too much about behind the scenes and financially. If the season's not completed by the end of June we need to look at the options and just look forward to next season."

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The Premier League remains suspended until April 30, but with the UK government continuing to issue restrictions on gatherings and movement, it seems like this might be an optimistic deadline.

For Liverpool, deprived of claiming the title in front of The Kop, it looks as though they may just have to take what they're given, because the alternative is unthinkable, not just to football fans on the Red half of Merseyside, but apparently across the entire Premier League. 

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