No one could have predicted the impact of the Coronavirus and what it has caused in the world. There has been a dramatic shift and life simply is not as we have known it for some time. This of course has affected world football, with almost all football grinding to a halt.
In Europe the Eredivise, the top league in the Netherlands was stopped with immediate effect. With the league so close, the authorities had no choice but to declare it null and void. The Belgian league also cancelled the season. Eyebrows were really raised though when the French Ligue 1 considered by many the 5th strongest league in Europe stopped the season.
Though in France they rightly gave the league title to PSG who were running away with it anyway and had a 12 point lead at the top and an extra game to play. Amiens and Toulouse were relegated. Both clubs may well go through the courts and seek compensation. But whilst Amiens have a point given that they were 7 points from safety with 30 points left, surely bottom club Toulouse did not. Were they really going to pull off a miracle and escape relegation having just earned 13 points this season? They would have needed to virtually win every game of the 10 they had left as they were 17 points behind at the time the virus hit. One must remember that the club have won just 3 games all season.
Now all attention is focused on the 3 big leagues. In Italy though football could return sometime in June, but like England the country has been hit with the most deaths in Europe and that is still in the balance. Currently Juventus lead Serie A by one point over Lazio, who themselves have had a terrific season.
La Liga and the Bundesliga have been pushing for a return. Especially in Germany. But some players for Cologne have just been declared to have the Covid-19 virus and that could now be in jeopardy. There is a real push though to have the Bundesliga and La Liga kick started by early June.
In truth Germany has not been affected as bad as Spain and England with the virus, but the worry will be if a second wave strikes. For now all cards are on the table but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Bundesliga restart first from the major leagues in Europe.
Of course all football will be played behind closed doors and that could well be the case for the rest of 2020. As for the Premier League decisions seem to change daily. Ultimately it will be down to the players though. And the feeling one gets is that players are less than happy to return to football.
Behind closed doors means no fans of course but there is still the problem of how do you test at least 500 people? Because it would take roughly that figure to set up a Premier League game once you account for players, squads, security, police, extra stewards because of fans congregating near the stadiums and media. It all adds up. Then there is the ambulances needed at each game- would it be justifiable to have ambulances at a game of football when they could be needed elsewhere?
This situation will go on, and we should see some developments later this month. For now the first two weeks of June are being pencilled in for a European football return.