No football served on the European menu (look away in shame, Belarus) in a fortnight is bad news for all — all but the players, it seems.
While the men whose appetite for business keeps the sports’ wheels in motion at breakneck speed count their losses and figure out how to pick up the pieces once the worst waves of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak pass, fans count the days until football returns from its pandemic-enforced exile amid the uncertainty of when all of this would be over.
Footballers (forget the managers; theirs is but a boring merry-go-round), caught between those other major stakeholders, get to do all the things they almost never have enough time for: relaxing with their families, working on their fitness regimina, racking up Fortnite levels and, of course, kicking bundles of toilet paper in their posh homes.
Thankfully, they keep us updated on all that and more, with starved fans lapping up those crumbs almost as soon as they hit the Internet. If, however, you’re among the handful annoyed by just how chilled the players appear, don’t be just yet; they’d be home a little longer, with COVID-19’s tightening grip on the world forcing football’s governing bodies to shovel the remains of the interrupted 2019/20 season, throwing them a little farther into the year (and we’re not even sure just how much farther).
With summer of 2020 already buried under that heap, the campaign that follows — if timed as usual — would start almost immediately, leaving barely any time in-between for players to catch a break. And in the course of the ensuing year — 2021, if you’re following — there’d be plenty of international action to gouge out spectators’ eyes: four football confederations (CAF, UEFA, CONMEBOL, and CONCACAF) staging their championships and, if that’s not spicy enough, throw in the Summer Olympics to taste.
2020 2021, along with two of the aforementioned tournaments — the
European Championship and Copa America — are scheduled thus, instead of this
year, due to COVID-19’s effects; clear all those and, in only a matter of
weeks, the 2021/22 season comes along. The games,
for club and country, would come in thick and fast for football’s main actors
from the resumption of the current term and would hardly slow down across the
And that’s why they need all the ease COVID-19 affords: from here, it only gets harder — the calm, if you like, before the storm.
NY Frimpong — Daily Mail GH