European football put to the test of deconfinement

German clubs have already returned to training, and the Bundesliga could resume on May 9.
German clubs have already returned to training, and the Bundesliga could resume on May 9. INA FASSBENDER / AFP

"As long as there is a risk, we do not play. The situation is too serious. We cannot endanger lives. " This is from Gianni Infantino, president of the International Football Federation (FIFA). As such, one would think that his voice carries and engages a small world of football today with the stop, like a good part of the economy, because of the epidemic due to the coronavirus. This is not really the case.

In Europe, in particular, we see "People who are fighting to know when we are going to replay", to paraphrase Mr. Infantino. The main European football leagues, which manage the national championships, almost all push for a quick resumption of training, then matches, in order to end the season.

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), the governing body of European football, also advocates this. "The most important thing is to play the matches", considers its president, Aleksander Ceferin, for whom "It is better to play behind closed doors than not at all".

The motivation of the leagues and UEFA? Collect the television rights that remain to be paid by broadcasters for the end of their respective competitions (the European Cups and the championships), the absence of these sums can weigh very heavily on budgets.

The coming days could shed a little more light on the possibilities for resumption, between meetings convened by UEFA and expected decisions on the conditions for the release from containment by certain governments. It is especially the latter that will condition the rest. " We will replay when the authorities tell us we can do it, " warned Mr. Infantino.

Read also Coronavirus: French football players "ready" for a season stoppage

UEFA L pushes to end the season

UEFA, which convened its 55 member national federations on Tuesday (April 21), issued a "Strong recommendation" to complete national competitions. "A variety of calendar options" has been presented to the federations concerning the national and European club competitions, the body said in a statement, without specifying dates.

A few days ago, the Dutch federation said that UEFA wanted the European championships to be all finished by August 3 at the latest and the BBC has revealed that the target date for the Champions League final is August 29 .

Another meeting will take place on Wednesday with, this time, the European Club Association (ECA) and the Association of European Leagues, before UEFA convenes its executive committee on Thursday morning.

Monday, in a daily interview Corriere della Sera, Aleksander Ceferin assured that"There are options allowing us to start over and complete cups and championships". "We can finish, but respecting the decisions of the authorities", however, he said, stressing that "Priority" rest "The health of fans, players and coaches".

Evaluation of the recovery protocol in Italy

This was recalled, Monday evening, Vincenzo Spadafora, the Italian sports minister, explaining that a resumption on May 4, as the football authorities want, is not yet topical. "I will have a meeting on Wednesday during which the Football Federation will present the recovery protocol to me, mainly for training. Today, I give no assurance for the start of the championship or training on May 4 ", did he declare.

The minister said he refused to make an exception for Serie A, the Italian football elite competition: “What interests me is that the whole sport will resume, not just Serie A.” “I will evaluate the protocol very carefully, but this should not give the illusion that resuming training means resuming the championship ", added Vincenzo Spadafora.

Monday, the Italian Football League "Has unanimously confirmed its intention to end the 2019-2020 season, if the government allows it to take place". Friday, April 17, the Italian Football Federation had pleaded for a resumption of matches "Late May-early June". According to several media reports, eight clubs, mostly located in the north of the Peninsula, particularly affected by the pandemic, are however opposed to a takeover because of the "Incalculable risks" incurred.

Bundesliga could resume from May 9

The German clubs could be fixed Thursday on their fate, after a meeting in videoconference which will bring together the representatives of the 36 teams of D1 and D2. Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn and two Presidents of Länder, Armin Laschet (North Rhine-Westphalia) and Markus Söder (Bavaria), spoke in the daily on Monday Bild, May 9 as a possible date for the resumption of the championship.

While the clubs have already returned to training, this resumption of matches would take place behind closed doors. Large gatherings remain banned in Germany, at least until August 31, to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

However, the 16 Länders will have to agree on the date of May 9, warned Laschet. It will also be necessary to clarify the health conditions of a return: controls must be put in place to detect any carriers of the virus. According to the press, it would take 20,000 tests to complete the season.

"It would be a mistake to use thousands of tests for in camera matches when there are not enough to test home nurses and teachers", denounced the Social Democrat deputy and epidemiologist Karl Lauterbach.

The German Football League wants to end the season by June 30 to release a television rights payment of around 300 million euros. His boss, Christian Seifert, called on Tuesday in a video message to be "Particularly disciplined". "It is the mission of the clubs, but also of the players. It has a lot to do with hygiene, a lot to do with private behavior. "

Belgium is about to say "stop"

Belgian football is still determined to end the season permanently. He had said this on March 25, before backing away after being called to order by UEFA, which did not want to hear about a unilateral decision, judged "Premature" and " not justified "

A general meeting of professional clubs (Pro League) had been scheduled for Friday, April 24 to mark this final end of the championship. It was postponed until Monday, April 27. The Belgian Football League wishes to await the decisions of the government and the National Security Council, scheduled for Friday: they must give an opinion on the progress of the mass competitions behind closed doors.

The Belgian government decided on April 15 to ban "Mass events" usually until August 31.

The world


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here