Amid the Covid-19 crisis, the world of sports is an ever-changing landscape with news shifting at an hourly rate. European football has been suspended across the board and the threat of ruling the current campaign null and void has been slightly relieved by UEFA’s level-headedness.
The governing body has postponed the European Championships until 2021 allowing the domestic seasons across Europe to complete their respective leagues this summer.
Following that ruling, clubs have committed to completing the season by the end of June.
⚽️ European football commits to finish season by 30 June: “Should the situation improve”
⚽️ FA in talks with UEFA to reschedule Women’s Euro 2021
⚽️ Champions League & Europa League qualifying rounds may change next season#SSN #UEFA #COVID19
— Bryan Swanson (@skysports_bryan) March 17, 2020
Having said that, all of this is in the hands of nature and with the experts claiming that we’re yet to reach the tip of the iceberg in terms of the pandemic, one wonders if that’s even possible.
Playing games behind closed doors seemed like a sensible solution until we actually realised that the players and coaches are human too and that coronavirus doesn’t discriminate.
Mikel Arteta and Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for the virus last week which forced the Premier League to suspend all games until April.
Valencia have announced that 35% of their staff have contracted the disease, while the cases among players and staff in Serie A continue to increase.
How can we guarantee that this will not continue over the summer? Any single case will force an entire squad into quarantine for 14 days as well as the team they’ve recently come into contact with.
That would leave us with one realistic solution: ruling the season null and void. It seems Liverpool fans and their former players that dominate the media landscape are the most vocal about this, but they seem to forget that league isn’t just about them.
You can’t assume the results at one end of the table and not for the other end. ‘Handing’ Liverpool the league would mean doing the same with every other club in their current position, which would be unfair.
The race for the top-four is close, the relegation battle is close and so is the race for the other European places. Many clubs still harbour hopes of punching above their current position and so simulating the rest of the campaign isn’t fair on them.
As much as it annoys a certain section of Premier League fans, we will likely be forced into cancelling this campaign and starting afresh whenever the coronavirus permits.