Top clubs fear to be rushed back after France follows Belgium and the Netherlands and ends off-season
Premier League clubs fear to be rushed back too soon after France follows the Netherlands and Belgium and the season does not continue due to a corona virus crisis
- France is the latest country to end attempts to resume its football season
- Dutch leaders made a similar decision on behalf of the government last week
- The Belgian season has been declared because of the blocking of the corona virus
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France is the newest country to cease efforts to resume its football season as fears grow among English top clubs that the Premier League will be pushed back too quickly.
The French called off their top two divisions on Tuesday after Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said there would be no football until at least September.
Dutch football took a similar decision on behalf of its government last week and the Belgian season is over.
Premier League clubs complete the season over a 50-day period if plans are approved
France’s decision has implications for the Champions League, with Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon still involved.
The Premier League will lead Prime Minister Boris Johnson in assessing the lockdown next week.
Even before France’s decision, club presidents in England were concerned that Johnson’s government was keen to force football to return to lift the national vote and boost popularity.
They fear it will be impossible to ensure a safe environment that will satisfy players and staff, and these fears are expected to be expressed Friday when clubs meet via video.
Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 seasons have been canceled after new lockdown rules were announced
There is also strong opposition to the idea of neutral locations that could provide greater clinical safety, but would interfere with the integrity of competition.
Some clubs have invited players this week to return to the training area, albeit with distance restrictions.
But the players’ union, the PFA, will demand guarantees that it is safe to train and play in a team sport.
Clubs realize that it will be impossible to take away all worries. Many players are uncomfortable with the idea of being in hotel quarantine for more than two months.
Bundesliga clubs like Bayern Munich are back in training, but a return can be pushed back
The difficulties in persuading squadrons to unite for cut wages illustrate how difficult it is to convince a diverse group to come to an agreement even in times of crisis.
Then there are wider concerns about public safety. Can the police guarantee that large crowds will not gather to watch games? What happens if Liverpool win the title? Will they be able to prevent fans from taking to the streets?
The clubs fear that it would damage the League’s reputation if it returned and would not end due to a second wave of coronavirus or an outbreak in football.
All eyes will be on Germany as they plan a return behind closed doors next month, although the Bundesliga must first get the green light from the government; a decision will be made this week.
FIFA chief doctor has also warned against restarting the seasons. Michel d’Hooghe said “as a doctor” that he would be “skeptical” about ongoing competitions amid the pandemic.