We are playing football again
Step by step, little by little, life is going back to what we know it used to be. The Covid-19 pandemic is still part of the picture. The world has started to learn how to live with it. Malls, restaurants, and bars will soon reopen to allow people in. We will soon be able to travel again and discover what this beautiful world has to offer.
When it comes to sports, and for the most part, leagues, tournaments and competitions have been shut down across the globe putting millions of fans on hold. Over the last two and half months, we have dug out hundreds of archives to watch again some of the sports’ greatest moments and classic games such as previous Champions League and FIFA World Cup finals.
Then, we heard news from European soccer and Germany to be more specific. Indeed the German professional soccer league known as Bundesliga was the first of Europe’s major soccer leagues to return to action and set a TV ratings record attracting millions in global audience on May 16th. Following a two-month hiatus fans everywhere on the planet were able to see some of the best players in the world play again.
Changes of scenery
Of course the environment changed with all the games played behind-closed-doors. Besides, just a total 300 people allowed in the stadium. This number included the players, coaching staff, referees and media. New protocols were implemented with strict rules. Anyone entering the venue was subject to a temperature testing, social distancing and wearing face mask requirements.
The German league paved the way for the rest of Europe to resume competitive play. This week the Portuguese Primeira Liga restarted as well. Shortly after all major European soccer leagues announced they will resume the season this month applying the similar new guidelines as what their German counterparts are doing. Fans across the globe are finally going to be able to watch their favorite players and clubs again, live.
Next Thursday, Spanish LaLiga resumes with the Sevilla derby between FC Sevilla and Betis. On the following day, the Italians will be on the pitch to play the return leg of the Coppa Italia competition semifinal (Italy Cup) between Juventus and AC Milan. There are no doubts the beautiful game is back
UEFA clubs competitions talks
The European soccer body (UEFA) are in discussion to resume their continental competition with the Europa League and Champions League knockout phases and a potential new format. It is also very possible that the 2020 UEFA Champions League final will not take place at the Atatürk stadium in Istanbul, Turkey as the European authorities look potentially at Lisbon, Portugal to host the biggest soccer game of the year.
The way we consume sports as fans will change until a coronavirus vaccine s found. It will take some time to see people allowed into the stadium. But having the players on the pitch and playing competitive games is the first step towards what we know it used to be.