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How Covid-19 affected Europea football

How Covid-19 affected Europea football

-Varun Beri(New Delhi)

While the world has been reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, the European footballing
world has also been severely affected. Here are just some of the ways the pandemic affected
the beautiful game in Europe:
1. Postponement of events
As soon as the pandemic started to spread on a larger scale in Europe, almost all sporting
competitions were either post phoned, or even cancelled. The Eredivisie and Ligue 1 were
scrapped, while other domestic leagues like the Premier League, La Liga, and Bundesliga had
to be suspended for 2 months. International friendlies were also post phoned all around the
world. While the UEFA Champions League did finish its season after postponements and
playing single-legged knockout stages, UEFA Euros 2020 had to be postponed to 2021.
2. No fans in the stadiums
Even after many leagues resumed, no fans were allowed to attend matches in person. All
matches had to be played in empty and relatively silent stadiums. It was a surreal experience
to watch a match with no atmosphere present due to the absence of fans. "Football is so much
better when you’ve got that atmosphere,’’ Scottish footballer Andy Robertson told The
Athletic. Even the 2020/21 season was played in empty stadiums in its entirety. There is also
the conversation of this affecting a team’s performance. Teams like Borussia Dortmund and
Liverpool, who are known for their stadium atmospheres, had difficult seasons by their
standards.
3. Revenues
With no fans allowed into the stadium and most tournaments postponed, the ticket sales of all
clubs dried up. This affected all clubs in the world, but the small clubs who relied on ticket
sales for major parts of their revenue were really hit hard. Most of them filed for bankruptcy,
and the ones that did survive had to drastically cut down expenses. The top Premier League
clubs seem to be least affected, but even some top clubs had to offload star talent to make
ends meet.
4. Player fitness
In a footballing structure that was already criticized by many for its disregard for player
fitness and the number of games played, the pandemic only made matters worse. After the
restart, the number of fixtures in a week became denser. Teams had to play 3 games a week
almost every week till the end of the 2020/21 season. This also affected the fitness of many
players, as a result affecting their individual performances. With UEFA Euros being played
this year, and the FIFA World Cup in Qatar to be played in 2022, many players may have to
wait another year for a proper, long rest to recover.

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