Football: The State of Play in Europe’s Top Leagues All football championships in Europe have been suspended for more than a month and a half now. The only exception is Belarus, they have kept all their competitions going despite the risk of spreading the coronavirus around. Now there is talk all over the continent about getting back to normal as the pandemic seems to fade away, but there’s still quite a bit of waiting to do until Europe’s top leagues get back to action. Let’s see some sort of a situation report for some of them:
England - Premier League
All that we know at this point is that the government will review the current lockdown measures on May 7. A few Premier League clubs have opened their training grounds on Monday for their players, but they can only do individual training for now. It is believed that clubs could return to full training sessions on May 18, which would then allow matches to be played starting June 8.
If that will be the case, then the Premier League season would finish at the end of July and that would give teams involved in European competitions plenty of time to finish those as well. However, this is all hypothetical at the moment, clubs are due to meet again on Friday to discuss their plans to restart the season.
Italy - Serie A
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has announced that professional sports teams can resume training on May 18 as Italy seems to have overcome the worst moment of the coronavirus health crisis. Serie A has been suspended since March 9 when the whole nation went into lockdown.
There are still 12 rounds left to be played in the league, and the Italian Cup is still underway with only the first leg of the semi-finals being played. In theory the league could resume in June, leading to a similar calendar to the Premier League.
Spain - LaLiga
Matches have stopped in Spain since March 12 and there isn’t any plan of restarting them anytime soon. More than 22,000 people have died across the nation since the crisis started and health minister Salvador Illa said football in Spain is not likely to return before the summer.
He said: "It would be reckless for me to say now that professional football will be back before the summer. We will continue to monitor the evolution of the virus and the guidelines we will present will indicate how different activities can return to a new normalcy." There are 11 rounds left to be played in LaLiga, so if it restarts at the beginning of June it could be wrapped up by the end of July.
France - Ligue 1
The French Professional Football League aims to restart the season on June 17, they have announced their plans officially. Games would most likely be played behind closed doors, like everywhere else across Europe, because governments will probably keep some restrictions in place regarding public events.
There are 10 rounds of matches left to be played, so it would be possible to finish the season before the end of July.
Germany - Bundesliga
The Bundesliga could be the first big league to get back into action, the clubs are ready to restart the season on May 9 if the government allows it. Matches would be played behind closed doors, with a maximum of 300 people can be involved at the stadium on match day.
UEFA Champions League and Europa League
The two continental competitions still have a bit to go. UEFA have not yet confirmed their plans but the current hypothesis is that the Champions League final will be played on August 29 in Istanbul. The Europa League final was due to be played in Gdansk, Poland, on May 27. Now it could be played at the same venue on Wednesday, August 26.