Football fans across the world have had to live in a reality where the only balls they’re seeing on a daily basis aren’t as pert or perfectly round as they’d like, but that could all change with the possible return of the sport in the first week of June.
There’s still a lot of games left to get through ” 92 for the Premier League, and over 100 if you include everything else (which I could definitely name if you asked me), including the FA Cup. Last month, the possibility of playing out the rest of the PL over the summer, with World Cup group stage style isolation camps for the top tier teams, was discussed. The English Football League (EFL) chairman Rick Parry penned a letter a few weeks ago suggesting social distancing measure that could be implemented in order to carry on playing matches, like having behind closed doors games with no fans allowed.
Now it seems that the Premier League has its sights set on resuming the season on the weekend of June 13, with support from the government. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said he’s been having “productive talks” with a number of sporting bodies and associations, including the Premier League, and there’s another meet up for the League set for Friday to talk more about plans for getting it back up and running. Games may be held at neutral venues to discourage fans from showing up, because we all know being close to balls addles the mind, and they’ll suddenly forget about the pandemic and turn up in droves, breathing and coughing all over one another. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of walking behind, or sharing a confined space with a middle-aged man, you’ll know what I’m talking about. You have hands ” put them over your gaping maw when you decide to splutter everywhere.
Of course, with no national sport to distract the masses, continuing the lockdown could be a struggle, especially as people are barely complying as it is. Allowing the Premier League to start up again may buy the government a few more weeks of the public staying indoors and not whinging about it. It’s even gone as far as saying it wants the footie back “as soon as possible“, showing an utter disregard for the messaging and advice it’s been putting out, that was arguably too little too late anyway. Michel d’Hooghe, head of Fifa’s medical committee, has weighed in, saying the football shouldn’t make a return until September at the earliest, telling the BBC:
“There is a risk and it is not a risk that has small consequences. My proposal is if it is possible, avoid playing competitive football in the coming weeks. Try to be prepared for the start of good competition next season.”
We can’t have that Michel. Postpone the football? In the midst of a pandemic? Are you out of your mind? There are still 92 games left. Honestly, some people just can’t see what’s good for them.
This post originally appeared on Gizmodo UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.