COVID-19 and Football: The Effects on Sports and the Solutions

The coronavirus pandemic has affected and put on hold many things in life. Sports is one of the activities that were canceled when the infection curve started to rise. Football, one of the favorite sports in Europe, was not spared either.

According to officials, this has affected both the players and football fans. The lockdowns, travel restrictions, and other measures put in place by the governments and WHO officials could not allow football to be played in stadiums or even fans to witness live games.

But as countries try to manage the pandemic and open up their economies, FIFA and other football officials have been negotiating deals on how to ease the effects on football for the sake of maintaining clubs and keeping fans entertained.

Cancellation of Games

When the pandemic started to pick up and lockdowns and travel bans started to take effect, most European football matches were canceled. For instance, many Italian Serie A matches were suspended indefinitely while many others were canceled altogether.

Most professional players who were used to earning a lot of money every week started to get depressed. Fans were not spared either since they could not attend live games or at least stream matches live.

Postponement of Games

Important football matches that could not be canceled were postponed to later dates with a hope that the pandemic will have subsided. Many European and Asian clubs postponed different matches to later dates as they waited for more guidelines from health officials.

In an attempt to address the fans and keep them in the loop, FIFA and other football officials said that the advantages of postponing matches rather than canceling them all together include preventing the spread of coronavirus and that there is an assurance that they will be played later.

Other Effect

Today, the pandemic woes are still ongoing. Although restrictions are still there to curb the spread, football is gearing back into action. For this, there are guidelines set by the football officials to safeguard the players and fans.

·           Online streaming – Instead of fans flocking stadiums to watch their favorite games, football clubs are encouraging and facilitating online streaming of matches. Therefore, only players who will be in stadiums playing matches while fans enjoy this on their screens at home.

·           Strict screening of players – Before any match, players are strictly screened to ensure that they are clean from COVID-19. Officials confirmed that all players will be checked daily and positive cases will be isolated to avoid putting others in any danger.

Assessing the Risks

Despite all these moves by European leagues such as Italia Serie A, La-Liga, French League and Britain’s Premier League have been warned of the dangers of flaunting COVID-19 regulations. Doctors and health officials say that even if teams play behind closed doors, there is the danger of spreading the virus among the players and other hundreds of people in the stadiums.

However, officials have insisted that they are observing all measures that will prevent the spread of infections. Their other aim is to keep football afloat and continue entertaining the fans.

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