Soccer seasons around the world have been impacted in a big way by the coronavirus pandemic. Leagues around Europe were either forced to pause or cancel outright, while the United States’ Major League Soccer was never able to get their season off the ground. Let’s take a look back and see how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the soccer calendar in 2020 in this Soccer Updates.
Soccer Update: July, 19th 2020
Soccer Put On Pause
The major soccer leagues started to suspend action on March 13th. That was the day that the English Premier League was put on pause, which came right around the same time that the Champions League, Europa League, La Liga and Serie A all announced their suspensions.
At the time, it was unclear if the leagues would be able to continue their season or whether they would have to cancel outright. After all, leagues like Germany’s Bundesliga had just a handful of games remaining.
At any rate, the leagues were put on pause at that point with no clear mandate for a return.
France’s French Ligue 1, Netherlands Eredivisie Cancels Season
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit parts of Europe at different times and with different strengths, so it was unclear who would get back to normal or when. France was particularly ravaged by the pandemic, so they decided to cancel their soccer seasons early. On Tuesday, April 28th, French Ligue 1 (and the lower league, League 2), was canceled. There had been some whispers about a path to return in June but they eventually decided to cancel it altogether. At about the same time, Holland’s Eredivisie was also canceled with the league’s top two teams – Ajax and AZ Alkmaar – earning the two qualifying spots for next year’s Champions League.
Bundesliga Gets Back In Action, EPL And La Liga Not Long After
While some countries like France, Spain, and Italy were hit hard by the pandemic, others like Germany were not as weighed down. That’s why the German Bundesliga was one of the first major European leagues to get back in action. They came back particularly early as they played their first wave of games on May 16th. It started to give us a glimpse as to what the future of major sports back in action would look like.
Meanwhile, leagues like the EPL came back online on June 17th, marking 100 days off since they last played games. La Liga also returned, which allowed the Spanish Primera to close out its 2019-20 campaign.
USA’s MLS Gets Back In Action
The MLS never got their season underway but they were finally able to get back in gear on July 8th. It took a while for them to figure out how they can play the games safely and whether they’d be able to travel or not, but they’ve made it happen. They returned with the MLS Is Back Tournament. Some teams are still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and have not been able to return but they are aiming to get back in action in the near future.
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