As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to possess a vice-like grip on sport around the world, it has left football in a state of limbo. With only Belarus currently defying scientific logic, there is a question regarding the completion of leagues across Europe.
A question that we may soon be closer to answering and with UEFA setting out a deadline for at least intentions than opposed to actual conclusions, the landscape of this current campaign looks set to change once again.
European football’s governing body have announced that May 25 is the deadline for any member nations that have not already concluded their respective schedules and by that date, the Swiss decision-makers must be informed of either a resumption of activity or a plan to end the season.
Of course, nothing is ever easy and the waters have been muddied somewhat, with the recent announcement to call time on France’s top two divisions and this will have their major continental counterparts twitching awkwardly.
May Deadline to Inform UEFA of Resumption or Cancellation
Falling Like Dominoes
With a lack of uniformity across Europe, there is a sense that this could cause an almighty headache for UEFA, and with France following their Dutch and Belgian cousins by not playing out the season, it does ask questions of competitions such as La Liga and the Premier League.
The latter have reportedly announced ‘Project Restart’ with a view to activities getting underway in early June. However, this project was unveiled before the announcement that sport in France would be banned until September 1st.
An announcement which has surely weakened the hand of the Premier League and with one of their ‘Big Five’ allies deciding that the risk of playing competitive football is too much, will it make the English game look something of a pariah?
At this stage, it looks as if the Bundesliga will be the pet-project for any resumption in competitive football and if that can continue without a hitch, it will at least offer a modicum of hope to other league competitions.
However, should there be a case of a player testing positive, that would surely mean that football must go back into the box for at least a few more months and any hopes of conclusions would be rendered null and void.
It is the status of null and void that Liverpool will undoubtedly be looking to avoid over these next few weeks and with them being agonisingly close to winning a first English league championship in thirty years, they will be clamouring to take to the pitch once more.
Unfortunately for Jurgen Klopp and everyone connected with the Merseyside outfit, it is not a decision for them to make and they, just like everyone else, will be keeping a close eye on how events unfold over the next four weeks.
If the majority of UEFA’s member nations press ahead in that timeframe, the Premier League will certainly follow suit. However, if the mindset is like that of French and Dutch Government, then the invites for Liverpool’s title-winning party may be rescheduled for at least 12 months.