Since the start of 2020, the world is no longer the same. The pandemic caused by Covid-19 meant that society had to learn new etiquettes of coexistence and even deprive itself of trivial tasks, such as going to a restaurant, going to the movies And go to the football stadium for your favorite team. , Sport, which is no different from what happens in the world, has also suffered and is suffering due to the coronavirus.
In March 2020, football stopped. in Europe, with the exception of Belarus, which did not stop any sporting activity and the stands were still full of fans, with the Breton game stagnant until the Bundesliga decided to resume matches that would mark the end of the German championship until May. were abandoned.
The following month, other leagues also resumed activities, such as those in England, Italy and Portugal. However, Ligue 1 did not get a chance to resume in France. The Champions League created a bubble in Portugal from the quarter-finals to end the competition and a club to be the legendary champion of the tournament.
Feeling of golden ball awardOne of the most traditional events in the world of football, distributed by “France Football” magazine, did not take place in 2020. Competition schedules for the next season were affected, but fans suffered the most during this period. They were forced to watch their clubs’ games in front of the TV.
Despite the gradual attempt to return to normalcy since the arrival of vaccines, teams and sports still suffer from the consequences of the pandemic. Many clubs, such as Barcelona’s example in the most emblematic case, still suffer from financial problems, periods in which revenues have decreased, or are practically zero.
Apart from economic issues, the sports aspect of some competitions was also affected. For example, Oceania could not hold its own Champions League. The same continent has not yet played a qualifier for the World Cup in Qatar and the tournament is scheduled to take place in the World Cup’s host country from March 21 to 30.
The Intercontinental Playoff for the 2022 Cup Controversy will also be held in Qatar., in a bubble of sorts intended to contain cases of COVID-19, and in a unique game in which the winner will win a place in the most important competition between national teams.
New version and new concerns
Despite the problems caused by COVID-19 since March 2020, the situation has improved with the advent of several virus-fighting vaccines in circulation. Stadiums are back on the public track, cases of contaminated athletes have also reduced, but the news in recent weeks has not been as encouraging as it was at the start of the season.
A new variant, Micron, which would theoretically have emerged in South Africa, has raised concerns in the continent where vaccination levels are lowest. And fear came after football The most recent strain of Kovid-19 has 13 cases in Belenense, Portugal., The origin is still unknown, but it has been speculated that the return of the club’s South African midfielder Cafe Fete, who had returned from his home country after playing in a World Cup qualifier, may have been the transmitter.
Because of this, there were also rumors that a clash between Manchester United and the Young Boys for the Champions League could take place on neutral ground if the Swiss had to go through a 10-day isolation period upon their return from the United Kingdom. However, local officials made an exception for the Oregro squad and the match was confirmed to take place at Old Trafford in Manchester.
Low vaccination rates in Europe are also another cause for concern. In Germany, the United Kingdom and France, the percentage of the population does not even reach 70% of the population with all the necessary doses to fight COVID-19, according to data from “Our World in Data”.
Because of this, the Prime Minister of Bavaria, Markus Soeder, assigned teams from the region, as Bayern Munich and Augsburg will play with the gates closed until the end of this year, And given the increase in the population and cases of contamination by Covid-19 in football squads, it is likely that this measure will be followed across the country.
We still do not know when we will have an end to all the problems associated with COVID-19. But the combination of overcrowded stadiums, non-use of masks in arenas, social distancing, low vaccination rates and the emergence of new forms, along with the emergence of new forms, should further hinder the ‘return to normal’. Looking forward to the next few weeks.
*Interns, supervised by Kayo Pereira