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14 Mar, 2020 15:35

'Total shutdown': European football authorities braced for impact of complete cancellation of football until September – report

'Total shutdown': European football authorities braced for impact of complete cancellation of football until September – report

The ever-developing coronavirus crisis has already led to most major sporting events across the world being shut down, but the aftershocks could extend well into 2020, as a six-month shutdown of the beautiful game is speculated.

According to a report by The Independent, English football bodies were called directly from a UK government COBRA meeting where they were advised that a decision to continue to allow football matches across England to continue as normal amid the coronavirus pandemic was being redrawn. 

All games in England's professional leagues across the men's and women's games have since been postponed until April 4, but a source told the newspaper that the idea of getting the season back on track by that date was "ludicrous".

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UEFA are convening a meeting on Tuesday with their member associations where they are expected to confirm a year-long postponement of the European Championships and a complete Europe-wide shutdown of the sport.

Initially, the United Kingdom government had told people to continue with their daily lives as normal, but the positive diagnoses of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi appeared to place hesitancy within football clubs and supporters alike. 

As you would expect, the measures have raised several questions as to the immediate future of the sport. Some English Premier League clubs have campaigned to declare the season null and void, while others are requesting that the games be played whenever possible - even if that means overlapping with games next season. Another option would be to announce the end of the season, with the league positions (including promotion and relegation places) being frozen as they are. 

The latter measure would almost certainly ignite a stream of legal challenges as clubs teetering on relegation and promotion face the possible financial ramifications that would result.

In the lower divisions, it is highly likely that several teams would soon be in danger of going out of business if deprived of the opportunity to earn matchday revenue through tickets and food and beverage sales.

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Tuesday's meeting will be critical to addressing these, and many other, issues.

Are Liverpool the champions? If so, does their title win have an asterisk beside it?

Are Manchester United facing another season out of the Champions League after being denied the chance to finish fourth?

While these questions pale in significance to the global catastrophe were are currently experiencing, a pursuit of sanity dictates that life must go on and these questions should be answered.