Sport Football: How Europe's football leagues plan to restart

Football: How Europe’s football leagues plan to restart

The ball has been rolling in the Bundesliga again for a week – despite the Covid 19 pandemic. Political permission was possible not only because of the hygiene concept of the German Football League (DFL), but also because the number of new infections in Germany has dropped significantly.

Other countries are also working on the return of football, but it is still unclear in many cases when a restart can actually be implemented – also because the pandemic has raged more than in Germany.

This is what the re-plans of European leagues look like:

Spain

This is the status: The teams are currently training in groups of up to ten players.

That is the plan: The league wants to play again from June 12th, but it still requires the approval of the health authorities.

This is special: There are still eleven games left. League President Javier Tebas wants to spread the kick-off times over all days of the week. Critics say that he does not think first of the burden on the players, but above all of new opportunities for television marketing.

England

This is the status: Since the beginning of the week, the teams have been able to train in groups of five again. The soccer players have received a 40-page document in which the hygiene rules for the training company are laid down. Among other things, this regulates the distance at which the players should park their cars, but also a ban on spitting and tackling is listed.

That is the plan: In the meantime, a restart from June 19 is considered probable.

This is special: Prominent players publicly criticize the league’s plans. City attacker Sergio Agüero spoke of “fear” in early May, Everton captain Troy Deeney stayed away from training because he was worried about his son, and Newcastle defender Danny Rose said the English pros were being treated “like lab rats” .

Italy

This is the status: Italy is gradually loosening the tough exit bans. The footballers still have to train alone. Minister of Sport Vincenzo Spadafora recently slowed the clubs’ hopes for early team training. The government’s scientific advisers continue to recommend strict distance rules.

That is the plan: Sports events are prohibited until at least June 14th. The clubs are negotiating with the authorities about special health rules in training and game operations and about possible start dates – so far without results.

This is special: Paulo Dybala, attacker of Juventus, was in quarantine for more than six weeks. During this time, he tested positive for Covid-19 at least four times. His teammates Blaise Matuidi and Daniele Rugani only had to isolate themselves for around two weeks after their positive test.

France

This is the status: The season has ended. Because not all teams had played the same number of games, the number of points was divided by the number of games to determine champions, European Cup participants and relegated teams. Paris St. Germain has been champion for the seventh time in eight years.

Portugal

This is the status: The teams train completely again. Ten game days are still outstanding. At the top of the table, FC Porto is one point ahead of Benfica Lisbon.

That is the plan: The first match day after the mandatory break is scheduled for June 4.

This is special: In Portugal, the Covid 19 mortality rate according to “Johns Hopkins” is currently 4.3 percent – a very low rate in European comparison. The government ordered tough measures against the pandemic at a relatively early stage. Now the country is earlier than most other countries in Europe when it comes to restarting the league.

Russia

This is the status: Some regions are beginning to ease the measures cautiously, but Moscow – with four first division teams – still has strict exit restrictions. The players train individually.

That is the plan: The season is to be played to an end from June 21st, with several game days planned during the week.

This is special: Many foreign players traveled to their home countries during the season break. So did the former German internationals Benedikt Höwedes (Lokomotive Moscow) and André Schürrle (Spartak Moscow). A return was not possible for a long time because Russia closed its borders. The government only allowed athletes to return on Sunday. Before the soccer players can train with their teams again, they have to spend 14 days in quarantine.

Belgium

This is the status: The season has ended. The league has declared the championship leader FC Bruges to be the champion.

Netherlands

This is the status: The season has ended, the cup final has been canceled. There are neither champions nor relegated teams. The starting places for the European competitions will be allocated according to the last table standings. FC Utrecht is angry: They should not be allowed to compete in sixth place in the Europa League qualification, but (with three points behind and better goal difference) completed one game less than fifth Willem II Tilburg – Utrecht would also have a chance as a cup finalist to qualify for Europe.

Turkey

This is the status: The league was briefly upset because Kevin-Prince Boateng’s Beşiktaş club reported eight positive corona tests in one day, including that of President Ahmet Nur Çebi. At the next test series, however, at least the samples of all players were again virus-free. Beşiktaş has resumed team training, like most other clubs.

That is the plan: The season is scheduled to end from June 12th.

This is special: The Champions League winner would have been chosen in Istanbul on May 30. Uefa has postponed the final and is now hoping for an appointment in August.

Austria

This is the status: Team training has been allowed since May 15, and a restart has been decided. The league has published its hygiene catalog: Unlike in Germany, players are only tested once a week as long as they remain symptom-free.

That is the plan: RB Salzburg and Austria Lustenau will play for the Austrian Cup on May 29th. The Bundesliga season continues on June 2nd.

This is special: The league leader caused a fair play scandal. The Linz ASK completed four team training sessions before May 15, while the other clubs followed the ban. The association has opened a procedure. Prominent officials demand exclusion from the European Cup, but a fine and point deductions are more likely.

Denmark

This is the status: All teams are back in team training.

That is the plan: On May 28, the Corona break ends with the catch-up game Aarhus GF against Randers FC. Two regular game days follow before the six best-placed teams play the championship among themselves.

This is special: The hosts are planning a virtual grandstand for the Jutlandic derby Aarhus against Randers: selected fans who follow the game and film themselves on the webcam should be shown on the screens in the stands.

Greece

This is the status: The clubs have voted unanimously to continue the season without spectators, the teams are training to restart.

That is the plan: It should start again on June 6th or 7th. The league is waiting for permission from the authorities.

This is special: An older fan of the AEK Athens had to pay a fine of 150 euros for failing to comply with the Greek curfew in April to visit his club’s stadium construction site. Thereupon AEK owner Dimitris Melissanidis gave the senior a season ticket for the next season, but at the same time warned: “We will stay at home, we will stay healthy, and the new stadium will be waiting for us once we have survived this adventure.”

Switzerland

This is the status: Since May 11, the teams have been able to train again under conditions. Not everyone makes use of this. The reason: With the exception of FC Basel, all clubs had registered short-time work for their players in order to save money. With the start of the training, the entitlement to state aid payments no longer applies.

That is the plan: On May 29, the clubs want to decide together how the season will continue – or whether it makes more sense to drop out.

This is special: The union of Swiss football professionals asked its members what they thought about the resumption of play. 140 professionals took part, 64 percent were in favor of dropping out.

Sweden

This is the status: Only those who show clear symptoms of Covid-19 are tested in Sweden. This also applies to soccer players. They should give a self-assessment of their state of health before each training session, then the team doctor decides whether they can participate in the unit.

That is the plan: The Swedish football season usually lasts from March to November. It is scheduled to begin on June 14 this year.

This is special: Sweden also takes a special path in football. The Secretary General of the League Mats Enquist is hoping for games before full ranks in June, but has received opposition from state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell.

Scotland

This is the status: The season has ended, Celtic FC from Glasgow won the championship for the ninth time in a row. Now only two titles are missing for the Glasgow Rangers’ record. The Heart of Midlothian FC from Edinburgh with the German coach Daniel Stendel is relegated.

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