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Basel retain football crown

Fans in Basel celebrated long into the night Keystone

Fans in Basel have spent the night celebrating their football team’s 11th championship title, after the squad beat St Gallen on Wednesday evening.

Manager Christian Gross’s side triumphed 3-1 against their eastern Swiss rivals in a home match at St Jakob stadium.

Basel were helped to victory by two goals from Argentinian star Christian Gimenez and a penalty from Julio Hernan Rossi.

But it could have been a different story after St Gallen started strongly with a 13th minute goal from Alex Tachie-Mensah. Basel then came back to equalise with a 28th minute header from Gimenez.

The second half of the game saw St Gallen dominate, culminating in a missed chance for Davide Callà in the 68th minute.

But it was to be Basel’s night after Gimenez scored four minutes before time – his 26th goal of the season.

The team’s triumph – in front of 25,000 fans – was sealed with a last-minute penalty by Rossi.

The Rhine city squad were able to carry home the champion’s trophy before the end of the season thanks to second-placed FC Thun’s 1-1 draw against Young Boys Bern in a cantonal derby. Thun would have needed to win the match to still have a chance of winning the title.

Thun had threatened to challenge for the top spot after seven wins in a row, but the experienced Basel team rose to the occasion. Since losing 3-0 to Thun in early March, they have only dropped two points.


Basel, who started the season as hot favourites, have now been unbeaten at home in the championship since 2002.

The team’s budget of SFr30 million ($25 million) allows Gross to have two quality players battling for each position – an embarrassment of riches compared with other Super League clubs.

However, success on the Swiss scene has so far not been repeated in Europe where Basel have failed to make much progress in the Champions League and the Uefa Cup.

The team’s third title in four years comes after a season that has been marked by financial problems for several clubs.

Geneva’s Servette football club went bankrupt in early February and its former president Marc Roger has since been arrested on fraud charges.

Another club from the French-speaking part of the country, Neuchâtel Xamax, are also in financial trouble. Xamax have debts of around SFr2 million and have until mid-May to find the money to stay afloat.

swissinfo with agencies

13. Alex 0-1
28. Gimenez 1-1
86. Gimenez 2-1
90. Rossi (penalty) 3-1

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR