We are in the third month of 2020, Europe has now become the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many European nations struggle with the pandemic – Italy, the nation severely affected by the COVID-19 which reported 11,157 positive cases and 1441 deaths until 15th March of 2020. Italy is under complete lockdown, many other nations took immediate actions and medical emergencies against the spreading of COVID-19. Spain has the second-highest number of positive cases – around 6043 where they have already declared a national emergency. France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Norway have reported more than 1000 positive cases, and nations are taking emergency actions like encouraging people to avoid unessential travel and gatherings, many of which are quarantined, and almost all international borders are closed.
The European football leagues are recognized as the hugest sports leagues and they are mini-economies that support the European sports and entertainment economy. All major football leagues and international friendly and warm-up matches for Euro2020 are postponed or canceled.
English Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, Bundesliga from Germany, Italy’s SerieA League and Ligue1 of France are the top football leagues of Europe and there are domestic tournaments with the participation of clubs from these nations form a large business and contribute approximately 5 billion US dollars to the economy. Nowadays football business not only depends on the ticket revenue and sponsorship it includes broadcasting rights of different streams, fantasy leagues, and games, online stores, website revenue, premium memberships, events, academies, and finally, players transfer. The transfer amount of players is such a huge amount where the transfer and loan business makes an impact on the revenue of the league. UEFA’s (Union of European Football Associations) football tournaments such as Champions League and Europa League where major football clubs are competing have been postponed. Europe’s biggest national tournament and world’s one of the biggest events of this year, EURO2020 dragged in the doubts.
In the Premier League, Chelsea football club’s Hudson Odoi was confirmed to have been a positive COVID19, which made all the players and staff isolated. Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has been confirmed to have contracted the virus. The team has been at high risk since their last Europa match opponent, Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis, confirmed the virus. Serie A of Italy was worst affected by COVID19, they had to conduct their flagship match between Juventus and Inter Milan in an empty stadium and, as the Juventus defender Daniel Rugani tested positive co-players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala comprehend into high risk. Sampdoria’s 6 players with the team doctor and 4 Fiorentina players reported positives, according to goal.com. Real Madrid was isolated when their basketball team reported positives, the Valencia club reported with 5 positive cases. After WW2 this was the first time Bundesliga matches were canceled in Germany. Hannover and Paderborn players reported positives and incidents of attacking Asian fans between Bundesliga matches made the newspaper headlines. The French football league also reported a positive case to date.
COVID19 affected various sports industries all over the globe. There have been enormous declines in the economy but the nations have made restrictions on public gathering. Although in the early period of the virus spreading many football associations were decided to conduct matches in empty stadiums to reduce the losses the pressure from the club managers and fans and rapidly spreading of the virus, football experts assume this will affect the result of leagues but upon the health concerns all are agreed the decision to postpone the matches and finally, FIFA recommended postpone the matches until they can take place in a safe and secure environment.