The Coronavirus pandemic has affected the entire world, changing life as we know it and probably setting a before and after in the way we handle ourselves as a society. The sporting world has suffered greatly because of this. Most football leagues have stopped play over the last four weeks, and there is no clarity regarding a potential return on most cases.
The scenario changes depending on which part of the world you might be. However, here’s a quick briefing to learn when – and how – most leagues in the world might return to action.
Asia could see light at the end of the tunnel… someday soon
The Coronavirus pandemic started in China, but the entire Asian region has been recovering well from the virus. Football might be set to return soon in the Far East, but there are a few things that need to be solved before most countries receive the green light.
South Korea and Japan are closing in on potential returns, with both the K-League and the J-League attempting to return to action in early May. The Chinese Super League had the same plan, but the government froze that alternative for, at least, the short-term picture. As things stand right now, there’s no clarity on when the CSL could return to action.
No end in sight for Europe’s top leagues
Europe are getting hit by this issue at an alarming rate, and 54 of the 55 UEFA leagues are either stopped or “on hold”. The Belarusian Premier League is the only competition that hasn’t stopped its play, but the others are waiting to see how the virus outbreak develops before taking any drastic measures.
Some countries, like Belgium and the Netherlands, want to end the season and simply use the current standings to determine the champion, Cup positions, and relegated teams. Others, such as Germany, have already declared they will end the season “at all costs, even if it’s after June 30”.
There’s only one thing clear here. The virus outbreak will continue to grab headlines over Europe for, at least, the next two or three months. It’s unrealistic to think about any potential scenario of normality before then.
CONMEBOL and CONCACAF remain on stoppage for the time being
The Latin American region – including the MLS – stopped play in early March and, as a result, there are several hurdles to complete before one can even think about the return of football, even if it is without fans in the stands. The COVID-19 has not even hit most countries as it has happened in Europe, so the worst is yet to come there.
As a result, countries like Argentina, United States, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia and others won’t have football any time soon. Expecting the action to resume around July or even August would be the best idea for most of those countries. But again, nothing has been set in stone.
Health around the world should be the priority right now. Even if it hurts football fans the most.
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