Skip to main content

The key questions on the impact of coronavirus on football

Sport Coronavirus – Thursday 19th March
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

The football calendar has been decimated as the world looks to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at Covid-19’s impact on the beautiful game.

Which events have been cancelled or postponed, and until when?

Euro 2020 File Photo

Euro 2020 has been put back a year (PA)

– UEFA postponed Euro 2020 until the summer of 2021, while the Euro 2020 play-offs, due to be played in March, have been postponed.

– The 2021 Nations League finals and UEFA Under-21 European Championship have been postponed.

– The women’s European Championship, scheduled to be held in England in 2021, has been pushed back to July 2022.

– All Champions League and Europa League fixtures are suspended until further notice.

The Champions League is on hold

The Champions League is on hold (Peter Byrne/PA)

– The 2020 Copa America is to move to 2021.

– The Premier League, EFL, FA cup competitions, Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship are all postponed “until it is safe to resume”.

– The Scottish Premier League has been suspended and could still be cancelled with the reconstruction of the league being looked at.

– The Scottish Championship, League One and League Two have been cancelled but only after a delayed and confused voted.

– The Football Association of Wales and the Irish Football Association suspended domestic football until May 15.

See more

– The Vanarama National League members, including North and South, have voted to end their seasons. While the season has been abandoned, the National League is yet to decide how it will end and determine any promotion and relegation.

– The FA Council voted “overwhelmingly in favour” of ratifying the decision to cancel the season from step three and below of non-league football and tiers three to seven of the women’s football pyramid.

– LaLiga in Spain, Italy’s Serie A and Ligue 1 in France are all suspended.

– The Dutch Eredivisie season can not resume until at least September 1 after the national government prohibited any sporting activity until that date.

– The decision to cancel the Pro League in Belgium, with Club Brugge declared champions, is due to be ratified on Friday, April 24.

What’s likely to go soon?

See more

The Premier League and UEFA have underlined their determination to complete the 2019-20 season, although there is an acceptance that may only be achieved in front of empty stands as scenario planning continues.

If leagues can not be completed in full, UEFA has asked for leagues to consider restarting “with a different format in a manner which would still facilitate clubs to qualify on sporting merit” for the Champions League and Europa League, opening the door for play-offs to determine which clubs will play in Europe next season.

Is anything likely to be on soon?

Bundesliga club Schalke back in training

Bundesliga club Schalke back in training (Martin Meissner/AP)

The German Football League (DFL) has said top level football in the country could return behind closed doors on May 9, if it gets the go-ahead from the government, while the Belarusian Premier League has been going ahead.

What happens with transfer windows and player contracts if the season is extended?

See more

FIFA has approved the extension of player contracts until seasons are able to finish, and also allowed for the summer’s transfer window dates to be moved to a period of time that is between the end of the current campaign and the start of the next one.

Where does the sport go from here?

Olympiakos v Wolverhampton Wanderers – UEFA Europa League – Round of 16 – First Leg – Karaiskakis Stadium

Stands around the world could be empty for some time (PA)

Clubs in the United Kingdom are choosing whether to take advantage of the Government’s job retention scheme. While Premier League clubs Tottenham, Bournemouth and Liverpool changed their decision having been criticised for putting non-playing staff on furlough, others have been forced to do it to safeguard their future. Welsh club Rhyl are on the brink of being wound up because of the financial impact of the pandemic. This is a hugely challenging period for clubs, especially those down the football pyramid, and the way leagues, players and teams handle it is crucial to the future of the national game.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1