COVID-19 IMPACT SERIES- Football.

6 months ago
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Across the African continent and indeed the entire globe, the impact of COVID 19 in sports has been massive, leading in the last 3 -4 months to actions, decisions and responses that are quite remarkable. Highlighted below are some of The Global  Impacts of COVID-19 in the world of football.

– the Confederation of African Football (CAF) issued a press release stating to postpone the qualifying rounds of AFCON CAN 2021 which was scheduled to take place on March 25 to 31.

-A day after CAF announced this decision, the Organizing Committee of CHAN 2020 in Cameroon also decided to postpone the competition to a later date. CHAN 2020 was scheduled to start from April 4-25.

-Apart from the continental competitions, most  national competitions on the African continent have also been suspended. 

-In Germany, where 6,012 confirmed cases have been reported, players of the national team have offered 2.5 million euros to help in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

-Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, have also sent out messages of encouragement.

-In Italy, the European country most affected by the coronavirus, donations continue to pour in very quickly, and in greater numbers. Inter Milan and AC Milan have donated 100,000 and 250,000 euros, respectively, to help in the search for a vaccine and provide additional material resources for the health emergency in their regions.

-Paul Pogba has launched a fundraising campaign on his Facebook page in collaboration with UNICEF to combat the pandemic on his 27th birthday.

 -In Morocco, the measure to tackle COVID 19 is very drastic. The Moroccan Royal Football Federation decided that all football matches in all categories will be played behind closed doors from Wednesday 4 March. This preventive approach is not new in Morocco. In 2014, the Kingdom had already applied a similar precautionary principle by renouncing the organization of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations football tournament on the dates planned to avoid the risks of Ebola. The 2015 CAF Africa Cup of Nations was then reassigned to Equatorial Guinea.

-UEFA announced on Tuesday that Euro 2020 has been postponed until the summer of 2021, with new dates of June 11 to July 11 next year proposed. The official announcement from European football’s governing body also confirmed that the Euro 2020 play-offs, due to be played later this month, will now be played in the June 2020 international break.

-The 2021 Nations League finals, UEFA Under-21 European Championships and the Women’s Euro 2021 were also postponed.

-The 2020 Copa America is to move to 2021 to give South American players based in Europe the opportunity to finish their league campaigns.

-The Premier League was suspended till the situation improves.

-All Scottish football was suspended with immediate effect and the Irish Football Association suspended the current season in Northern Ireland . The Football Association of Ireland announced all football activity under its jurisdiction was suspended .

-England’s two friendlies later this month at Wembley against Italy and Denmark were cancelled, and were followed by the friendlies with Austria and Romania in June. Wales’ international matches with Austria and the United States at the end of March were also called off.

-The Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship were also postponed by the FA.

-UEFA announced all Champions League and Europa League fixtures scheduled for the week commencing March 16 were postponed, as well as the quarter-final draws for both competitions.

-FIFA relaxed rules on clubs having to release players for forthcoming international fixtures and also recommended that “all international matches previously scheduled to take place in March and April should now be postponed until such time that they can take place in a safe and secure environment”.

-Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for coronavirus.

-Everton’s entire first-team squad and coaching staff undertook a period of self-isolation after a first-team player reported symptoms consistent with coronavirus while three Leicester players showed symptoms and were kept away from the rest of the squad.

-Bournemouth announced five of their employees, including goalkeeper Artur Boruc, were self-isolating having displayed symptoms consistent with the virus.

-Juventus defender Daniele Rugani tested positive, as did Fiorentina striker Patrick Cutrone, on loan from Wolves, and team-mate German Pezzella and club physio Stefano Danielli. Blaise Matuidi later became the second Juventus player to test positive.

-Ezequiel Garay became the first LaLiga player to announce that he has tested positive for coronavirus, with Valencia later confirming five positive tests among players and staff.

-Real Madrid players were told to go into quarantine after a member of the club’s basketball team tested positive. LaLiga suspended “at least the next two rounds of matches” as a result of the quarantine in place at Real.

-Barcelona suspended all first-team activity after taking advice from their medical staff.

-LaLiga side Espanyol confirmed on March 17 that six cases of Covid-19 had been detected among the first team and the technical staff.

-All domestic sporting action in Italy – including Serie A matches – are suspended 

-Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, the top two divisions in France, are suspended until further notice.

-The German Football League suspended games in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga .

-Major League Soccer announced the suspension of matches for 30 days with immediate effect.

-The South American (CONMEBOL) World Cup qualifiers scheduled for March 23-31 were postponed to a later date.

-The Northern Premier League announced all fixtures have been suspended until further notice.

-The Scottish Professional Football League postponed all games ‘pending any Government order and/or further direction from the Scottish FA’.

-The Football Association announced it was “advising that all grassroots football in England is postponed for the foreseeable future”.

-The Professional Footballers’ Association announced it had postponed this year’s awards ceremony, which had been due to take place on April 26.

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