The Outbreak of Deadly Coronavirus Halts Football All Over The Globe!

The coronavirus pandemic currently sweeping the planet has caused all major European leagues including the Champions League and Europa league to be suspended until further notice. The Premier League had earlier decided to suspend the league until April 3rdat the earliest, following an emergency meeting on Friday.

The decision was taken by the league after it was announced that Arsenal Head Coach Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The league also said that it is the aim of the league to reschedule the displaced fixtures when it is safe to do so.

Italy’s top division Serie A was the first league to suspend play after they announced the league would stop till April 3rd at the earliest. Italy has been the worst-hit country after China in the world by the Virus, with Juventus defender Daniele Rugani being the most high profile athlete in the country affected by it.

The Bundesliga and France’s Ligue 1, who initially said this weekend’s games would go ahead behind closed doors, also announced they would be suspending their leagues after the Premier Leagues announced their decision. Spain’s La Liga had earlier announced they would be suspending their league after the entire Real Madrid squad were placed in quarantine.

UEFA had announced on Friday that it would be suspending its Champions League and Europa League competitions until further notice. They also announced they would discuss the postponement of Euro 2020 during an emergency video conference involving all 55 European Football associations on Tuesday.

A match between Barcelona and Villareal being played in an empty Nou Camp (Image Courtesy: The Times)

These unprecedented decisions have cast major doubt on the future of football this season, with many wondering if it would even be possible of resuming the leagues after April 3rd as the pandemic wouldn’t be cured by then. This had led some to call upon the leagues to declare the season null and void and restart the season next year, but that would be especially harsh on teams vying for promotion and clubs like Liverpool, who look certain to win their first title in 30 years.

The other option that has been suggested would be to declare the season over based on the current standings. That way clubs like Liverpool would get their hands on the trophy, but it causes teams in the relegation spots to go down even when there were almost 10 games left to change their situation.

The final option of resuming the league in the summer if the Euros get postponed would result in a new set of issues, as players whose contract expires in the summer wouldn’t be able to play for their clubs unless they sign a new deal.

The Premier League expects that there is almost a 75% chance that the league won’t be completed this season and this brings with it other major pitfalls for the clubs and the league as it would mean they won’t be able to receive matchday broadcast incomes and gate receipts, which constitute a majority of their revenue streams. 

Such a situation would affect all European clubs and have an adverse effect on football this season and for seasons to come. The only thing that is certain for clubs in these testing times is that the future of football has never looked more perplexing than it has now.


Cover image credits: News1

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