Many aspects of life have been changed for good thanks to the global pandemic that started at the end of 2019. In many ways, it’s hard now to remember what life was like before this happened, and sport has been affected greatly. Football is no different to this, and in this article we take a look at how covid 19 has affected football across the world.
In March 2020, the decision was taken that football should be halted across the world, in an attempt to help slow the spread of the virus. This is due to the fact that not only were the players in close contact with each other during play, but games also attracted crowds, which was something that we were encouraged to avoid – or even banned from, in many countries. This was a difficult time for players and clubs, as their income was slowed dramatically, and players were unable to train with the rest of their team. Not only this, but the whole situation was difficult for fans who would usually use football as escapism from the worries of daily life.
In fact, sports betting websites, like Powerplay, started offering bets on virtual sports so that football fans who enjoyed betting on their favourite teams, could still place their bets on such events.
The cost to football clubs was huge. There were no ticket sales and no advertisements were being sold, meaning that there was very little income at all. In many cases, players were asked to accept a lower wage for a period of time, and fans were asked whether they would consider refusing the offered refund on their season tickets. This is something that has damaged the finances of clubs greatly, which will have an affect over the years to come with regards to player transfers and stadium upkeep.
After the initial few weeks of having no football at all across the world, many leagues then took the decision to resume play, in line with the rules of their country at the time. This was difficult however, particularly in leagues where foreign travel was necessary. Fans were still unable to watch the matches for months, and travel abroad became more expensive and in some cases impossible.
Thanks to the nature of viruses, they spread quickly between close contacts. This meant that several players tested positive on a weekly basis, causing their team to have to withdraw from the match that had been planned. This had an effect not only on the tables, but also on the morale of the team, and the rigorous training schedules that would usually be in place. The Euro 2020 competition was shelved until 2021, leaving fans with little to enjoy regarding football as a sport.
The future of football
As it stands today, reaching the end of 2021, it would seem that the sport is getting back to normal. Many stadiums are now allowing full capacity supporters, and this is a breath of fresh air to finance departments across the world. However, clubs will be hurt by the ongoing financial results of the pandemic for a long time to come. In addition, thanks to the unpredictability of the virus, it is not yet known whether any further restrictive action will need to be taken.
In the meantime, football fans are once again betting on their favourite teams on websites like Powerplay.
Clubs and fans are equally optimistic that this could indeed be the start of something special, and that we will all be able to enjoy football in the future without risk of disruption.