Saturday, July 2, 2022

COVID-19 hiatus proves the importance of football

David Nugent in Editorial, General Soccer News 16 Apr 2020

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Firstly, I would like to get this out of the way. The COVID-19 pandemic is an awful occurrence, with people losing their lives throughout the world. Football fades into significant when you consider what is going on in the world. Much of the world is in lockdown and the future is hard to predict, as we are now living in a unique situation.

More than just a hobby

However, football is a passion for millions of people around the world. For some their whole life revolves around the beautiful game. For some like myself, the suspension of the game throughout the world, except for Belarus and Nicaragua, has hit us harder than just fans.

Much of our income comes from writing about football, so when the game goes away so does our income. For us it is not just a hobby or a social activity, the game is our livelihood, how we feed our families. Most of us will survive, as us football writers are resourceful.

However, there are those whose social lives revolve around going the game, watching or playing the game with friends and family. Without it, that social life disappears. For most football is far more than just a hobby.

It is fine to miss it

While there are those in the camp of people are dying, so football is not important. It makes people feel guilty about missing football. If you are feeling guilty, do not. Everybody has passions in their lives and many can still do theirs inside the house. Some are artists, musicians or dancers, those are activities that can be done in the house.

Some people may be lucky enough to have gardens to have a kickaround, but it is different from playing with their friends and family. Due to the current government lockdown in the UK, like many countries, people cannot play in the parks or other facilities together, which has both a mental and physical effect on people. The lockdown will be a test of people’s mental health, which was already a massive issue for some before the COVID-19 pandemic.

A return of football would be a big boost

The current situation has affected every walk of life. Many have asked the question about when football will return. Unfortunately, due to the unpredictable nature of the virus and people’s behaviours, there is not a clear answer. A return of football would be a fantastic boost for millions throughout the world.

It would make isolation and lockdowns a bit more tolerable. However, football cannot return to the major leagues until the countries respective countries governments feel it is safe to do so. The Premier League, for example, will meet via video conference on Friday to further discuss the issue. Reports suggest that an increasing number of clubs want to finish the season by June 30th.

Only time will tell if that is a realistic target for a return of the Premier League. Meanwhile, in Germany, a return to action has been mooted for May. However, talks with the government mean that the return has been pushed back slightly. In Spain, one of the worse hit of the European countries, there seems no sign of a return of action. Real Sociedad attempted to train, only for Spain’s secretary of state for sport Irene Lozano to prevent it.

The latest solution coming from Italy, another country hit badly by the pandemic, is that all games would be played in the south of the country. The mooted plan also includes excluding players whose contracts expire on 30th June. Whether the plan becomes reality remains to be seen.

There is no doubt everybody connected with football is desperate for the game to return in the big leagues. However, it will only return when human lives are not at risk, which is the right way. We all miss football and it just shows how much it means to people. It may not be more important than life and death. However, it is more than just a game and that will show when we return to normality and we can once again enjoy the thing we love.

How important is football in your life?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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