11 June 2020 – With the world at large still reeling from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic (not to mention severe withdrawal symptoms from a lack of sport), a select few sporting codes have been eased back into action, with a particular focus on the planet’s most popular sport i.e. football.
Various leagues have gradually returned (behind closed doors) such as Germany’s Bundesliga and so far so good. Strict measures have been put in place to ensure safety and non-negotiable hygiene for all concerned.
With the imminent return of the world’s most popular league next week, the English Premiership (EPL), it will be logical for fans to have mixed feelings.
Excitement will be in the air but being unable to attend matches will irk the majority. However, the key aspect here is to focus on the positives, particularly as leagues such the Eredivisie (Netherlands) and League 1 (France) being cancelled months ago, along with the much anticipated Euro 2020.
The first shining light that comes to mind is the actual resumption of live action. Fans have been fed a diet of highlights across their various television subscription channels and have been yearning for the real thing. We should be grateful for the restart and efforts made to ensure the conclusion of the season.
Not only this but given the schedule, the next couple of months will indeed be a festival of football with a plethora of games each and every week. If this helps with making up for lost time, then fans will surely welcome it.
Another aspect is the return of world stars to light up what has been a rather gloomy few months. Supporters finally getting to see their idols such as Paul Pogba and Sergio Aguero, will surely up the mood. Not to mention charismatic managers such as Jose Mourinho and company.
There is also the small matter of the UEFA Champions League and even the Europa as well as local cup competitions to look forward to. Locally, the Premier Soccer League (PSL) could also be making a return soon.
Player themselves will be able to resume doing what they love and also fulfil their contractual obligations.
The relevant national footballing bodies will also be able to sleep easy knowing that they are keeping up their end of lucrative television deals.
Ultimately, sport has always been the ultimate distraction from life’s many challenges. The return of professional league action is certain to provide just that in the aftermath of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
By: Dhirshan Gobind