The State of European Football During the Coronavirus Pandemic
The latest quarantines and lockdowns from many countries beg for a simple question: what is currently going on in the world of European football?
Postponements and cancellations
Well, nothing good is going on. At the time of writing (10:14 GMT on 13.03.2020) there 5 major leagues that have announced postponements of ALL their matches: Italian Serie A, Spanish La Liga, Dutch Eredivisie, Portuguese Primeira Liga, and French Ligue 1 along with Ligue 2. A number of other high-profile matches from different leagues - such as Manchester City vs Arsenal or Sevilla vs Roma - have also been postponed indefinitely.
The same seems to be true for the Premier League and the EFL matches. It became known on Friday morning that the Premier League representatives were holding an emergency video-meeting to decide what to do next. With Arsenal’s coach Mikel Arteta and Chelsea’s forward Callum Hudson-Odoi both tested positive for COVID-19, the fate of the league was certainly under question. Earlier this week three Leicester players have also shown a number of the symptoms attributed to the virus.
The meeting resulted in a decision to delay all Premier League, Championship, League 1 and League 2 matches until at least April 3rd.
This means that out of major European football countries only Germany is still deciding on its course of action. It is not yet known what will Bundesliga authorities do. So far they’ve been content with playing matches behind closed doors, but with 2750 confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany (according to the latest data) the Deutsche Fußball Liga may very well decide to proceed with postponements or outright cancellation of the rest of the season.
Update: Bundesliga has also put the upcoming matches on a temporary hold due to "suspicions of a coronavirus infections in the vicinity of clubs". And with this, all the major European football leagues are officially waiting for the virus to pass.
UEFA Champions League, Europa League and Euro 2020
Major non-league tournaments - meaning mostly UEFA - are also under stress. On March 12th, UEFA had called for a meeting to decide on their further progress with championships. As the result of this meeting, upcoming Champions League Manchester City vs Real Madrid, and Juventus vs Lyon were postponed along with the Europa League’s between Sevilla vs Roma and Inter Milan vs Getafe. Friday 13th saw the same governing body deciding to postpone all remaining the Champions League and Europa League matches for at least a week.
It is not yet known what all these actions mean for Euro 2020. Yesterday there were rumours that UEFA is considering to delay the tournament until summer 2021, but so far there weren’t any official statements in that regard.
We will be watching the situation closely and try to update you with any upcoming details.
A coronavirus (COVID-19) reminder: this is an infectious disease that is currently spreading all over the world. It spreads from person to person by droplets or when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The most common symptoms of the virus are high fever, dry cough and a general feeling of tiredness.
How to protect yourself from the infection
The common protection measures for COVID-19:
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with soap or alcohol-based solutions (please don’t use industrial alcohol for this purpose);
- Maintain the distance of at least 1 metre from other people;
- Self-quarantine if you are not feeling unwell. Call your ambulance or hospital phone lines for further instructions if you suspect is under the influence of the virus;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. This is harder than it seems because many of our hand movements are nearly involuntary;
- Cover your nose and mouth when you are coughing to not infect other people. Use your elbow for this purpose, not your hands.
Stay safe and healthy, take care of your significant others and people that are close to you.