Coronavirus cases among players and coaching crew in the Premier League are rising, sparking the speculation that the league might be abandoned again.
Over a week ago, the Premier League announced that 40 players and members of staff tested positive for coronavirus which was the highest recorded number of coronavirus cases since testing began in the league. Those who tested positive for the virus are expected to self-isolate for 10-days in line with coronavirus protocols in the United Kingdom.
In the latest round of tests the Premier League carried out between January 4 and 10, the league confirmed that 36 positive coronavirus cases were recorded out of 2,593 players and club staff that were tested in two rounds of testing.
Due to the high number of confirmed coronavirus cases that are being recorded in the Premier League, the league body was left with no choice but to postpone 5 league games between December and January. The postponed games have caused a form of distortion in the league which has affected the smooth flow of the season.
Just recently, Tottenham Hotspur’s league game against Aston Villa initially scheduled to take place on Wednesday had to be postponed due to the invasion of the virus at Aston Villa.
Hence, Tottenham have to play their outstanding game against Fulham on Wednesday. While Fulham’s league game against Chelsea which was earlier scheduled to take place on Friday has been moved to Saturday, January 16.
With all the uncertainties that the outbreak of the coronavirus is already causing in the 2020-2021 Premier League season, football stakeholders are already foreseeing a break in the league. However, the Premier League is said not to be discussing a break yet.
The bigger fear is that, if the UK government sees that football can’t keep running amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the country, the government might be left with no choice but to halt the game.
If that happens, most football experts believe that the game of football would never remain the same. Recall that a similar situation happened in mid-March where football had to be halted in most leagues in the world due to the virus. The break lasted for three months.
Since June 2020 that football returned across the world, most football clubs are yet to recover from the financial difficulties the pandemic forced on them. Hence, most football experts don’t want a repeat of such a scenario.
Wolves coach Nuno Espirito Santo said: “I don’t know for sure what is better. What I think and what I am afraid of is that if the decision is to stop, football, as we know it now, will not be the same.
“This is my biggest fear because the schedule will go crazy, it will be impossible to even finish the league and think about the Euros.
“So what I feel is that if we stop, everything will change, a new football will come, probably with the Super League, with new competitions, and then it will be a matter of which clubs survive. So it’s a tough decision to make.”
While Burnley coach Sean Dyche said: “I think the Premier League are doing everything possible and mostly the players are as well.
“As long as the protocols are there and it’s as safe as it possibly can be, then I think football has to continue. I think it would be a drastic action to stop it now.”