The spread of the coronavirus continues to dampen our football fun as several football officials across different leagues in Europe have already been implementing various contingency plans.
Despite taking precautionary measures in an attempt to contain the coronavirus, it has spread throughout China and across the world, including the United States, Australia, and various parts of Europe.
With this said, top-tier football leagues such as the Premier League have already considered holding games behind closed doors just like with certain Serie A clubs, which means that football fans can only get to watch via the internet or television as opposed to being in the arenas cheering for your teams.
This unfortunate circumstance can impact a lot of stakeholders tenfold. For SBOTOP fans, the joy of watching football will never be the same while several business owners and participating teams are in danger of losing a lot of money.
What are the coronavirus and its symptoms?
Initially known as “CoVID-19”, the coronavirus is a large family of viruses that cause sicknesses ranging from a common cold to even more severe diseases such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
In a report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) last March 3, there have been over 90,000 confirmed cases worldwide and around 3,000 deaths with over 200 occurring outside China.
The novel coronavirus normally causes symptoms such as pneumonia, fever, coughing, and difficulty of breathing, suggesting that the virus can be spread in multiple ways. If not taken care of, the coronavirus can lead to hospitalisation or even death.
Because of this, WHO urges the public to frequently wash their hands and maintain proper hygiene at all times. At the same time, travel bans on certain territories are strictly imposed as a way to curb its transmission.
How has the coronavirus affected football matches?
One of the hotbeds of football in Italy is known to be hit by the coronavirus quite severely. Italy has reported 41 new deaths just last Thursday, bringing their death toll to 148 – which is the second highest outside of China.
In fact, Serie A already cancelled the much-awaited Derby d’Italia between Inter and Juventus last week and we can expect this trend to continue in other places.
Large sporting events obviously draw large crowds, which is why having the games behind closed doors should be considered as an option.
The Premier League already started taking precautions when they banned handshakes between players during games and several clubs have implemented certain policies as well, as per Premier League 2020 news.
Liverpool would no longer have mascots in Anfield while Southampton also banned their players from signing autographs or taking selfies with fans.
There had also been murmurs about the possibility about Liverpool that they might not be officially crowned as the champions if the season was cut short. Although the Premier League 2020 chance of that to occur seem to be slim, it would be a disappointing blow for them if that would really happen.
Should the Premier League and the other leagues get cancelled, there will be a huge ripple effect across all of Europe. Teams set for relegation and promotion will be hard to fairly determine and it may affect the clubs’ chances for a qualifier spot in the Champions League, Europa League, and other domestic and international tournaments.
Other sporting events affected by the coronavirus
Like football, other sporting events such as Formula One, boxing, basketball, and golf have been affected.
The International Olympic Committee (ICC) have already postponed the Olympic boxing qualifiers that were about to take place in Wuhan.
Meanwhile, the PGA Tour and the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) have already cancelled their planned events as well. The Chinese Grand Prix which is set to be held on Shanghai next month has also been cancelled for the safety of drivers and fans.
With growing concerns being raised regarding the threat of the coronavirus, several big events are in danger of being postponed as well.
The UEFA committee will be assessing things ahead of the Euro 2020, which is set to commence in June to July while it remains to be seen on whether the upcoming Tokyo Olympics will push through or not.
“I wouldn’t exclude anything at this moment. That’s why we have to look at the situation and hope that it will decrease rather than increase. If games have to be postponed or played without spectators until it’s over, then we have to go through that,” said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin in a media conference in Amsterdam.
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