Resumption of the championships: where is Europe in football?

The coronavirus put a stop to football Europe. All the championships, with the exception of that of Belarus, were indeed stopped because of the pandemic. But now that Germany has revived its Bundesliga, respecting an extremely strict protocol and in empty stadiums, and while Spain has authorized its Liga to resume from June 8, again with exceptional restrictions and still at behind closed doors, where are we on the round ball side of the Old Continent? We take stock.

Germany resumed on May 16 behind closed doors in meetings where sanitary measures are draconian (masked players on the sidelines, five replacements per game, regular disinfection of the balls, etc.).

In Germany, the restart matches were played behind closed doors like here in Cologne./REUTERS/Lars Baron
In Germany, the restart matches were played behind closed doors like here in Cologne./REUTERS/Lars Baron

In Spain, the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, the head of the Spanish government, authorized this Saturday, the resumption of the championship. "The week of June 8, the resumption of major sports and professional competitions, and in particular the La Liga, will be authorized," he announced. The clubs and the La Liga authorities will agree to fix a date for the first matches, which could be Friday June 12 or even Friday June 19.

In Italy, the Italian Sports Ministry has authorized the resumption of collective training since May 18 and the Italian League is still asking to be able to resume Series A on June 13. But the Italian government still reserves its answer.

In England, the Premier League also hoped to resume on June 12. Now the date of June 19 is mentioned. Discussions are continuing on the “Restart” project, which provides for the implementation of a health protocol. But the question of the stadiums where to organize the matches has not been settled: a solution initially put forward was to play on neutral grounds, but it has been challenged by enough clubs to be now questioned.

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In France, the 2019-2020 season was declared ended on April 30. The title of champion was awarded to PSG and the relegations of Amiens and Toulouse were also decided. Decisions challenged by the presidents of these two clubs and by Jean-Michel Aulas, that of OL who is not European. While French football is torn around an L 2 to 22 clubs, Ligue 1 hopes to start again next season on August 23 (the day before for L 2). But it can not yet formalize anything pending a meeting of the UEFA committee, postponed from May 27 to June 17 and which will decide the dates chosen for the continuation of the Champions League.

With the Scottish championship stopped, Celtic Glasgow (here last December in the cup final) wins its 9th straight title / Icon Sport / PA Images
With the Scottish championship stopped, Celtic Glasgow (here last December in the cup final) wins its 9th straight title / Icon Sport / PA Images

Scotland followed the same path as France and decided to stop the championship, formalizing the 9th consecutive title for Celtic Glasgow and the relegation of Hearts of Midholthians. The Belgium made the same decision (Bruges champion). The Netherlands also stopped their championship but leaving vacant the title of champion.

In Portugal, the first division championship will resume in camera on June 3 with two games, including a Famalicao-Porto. The dates and times for the games from the 25th to the 33rd day, which will end on July 21, are fixed. But not that of the last day because the teams engaging in distance duels will have to play at the same time.