MADRID (AP) — Deportivo La Coruña, the 2000 Spanish league champion, was relegated to the third division on Monday even though it couldn’t play its match because of an outbreak of COVID-19 cases.
Deportivo’s final-round game against Fuenlabrada was postponed after some Fuenlabrada players tested positive for the coronavirus. But in the end it didn’t matter as other results meant the traditional Spanish club had no chance of escaping demotion.
It will be only the second time Deportivo will play in the third tier. The first time was in the 1980-81 season. No other league champion had dropped to the third division since Real Betis in 1947, according to Spanish media.
Fuenlabrada will need at least a point against Deportivo to replace Elche as the final team in the promotion playoffs. Elche provisionally got in after beating Oviedo 2-1. The other teams in the playoffs will be Zaragoza, Almería and Girona.
The playoffs were set to start on Thursday but will be delayed because of the postponement of Monday’s game.
Huesca clinched the second-division title beating Sporting 2-1.
Cádiz, which entered the final round in the lead, finished second after conceding late in losing to Albacete 1-0. Huesca and Cádiz had already secured promotion in advance.
Numancia also was relegated despite beating Tenerife 2-1. The other teams demoted to the third tier next season were Extremadura and Racing.
Leganés, Mallorca and Espanyol were relegated from the first division.
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