The Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, the Bundesliga and Ligue 1 have all been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic
European football has come to a standstill amid the coronavirus pandemic.
As football associations and governments aim to slow the spread of the virus, top-flight competitions have been postponed for the time being.
We take a look at the state of play in Europe’s top five leagues.
Suspended since: March 13
Suspended until: April 3
Matches played: 28-29 of 38
The Premier League has been paused at least until after the international break, although the intended return date appears purely provisional as the league prepares for further discussions on the matter. Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi have both tested positive.
Thank you for all your good wishes, as I said in the video I’m feeling good and hope to see you all soon!! pic.twitter.com/hn5d0ikm60
— Callum Hudson-Odoi (@Calteck10) March 13, 2020
Liverpool are 25 points clear of defending champions Manchester City and need just two more wins when play resumes to clinch their first league title since 1990.
Meanwhile, the race for European qualification is complicated somewhat by City’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport following their ban from UEFA competitions. Fifth place, occupied by Manchester United, could be enough to play Champions League football next season.
At the bottom, Norwich City are propping up the league and sit six points shy of safety. But the five teams above them are separated by just four points as they look to avoid relegation.
Suspended since: March 12
Suspended until: April 3
Matches played: 27 of 38
LaLiga had been set to be played behind closed doors leading into the international break, but Real Madrid went into quarantine when a player on their basketball team tested positive, and the season was instead postponed for “at least” two matchweeks.
Should the season be belatedly able to continue, a tense title race is on the cards. Barcelona lead bitter rivals Madrid by just two points, having reclaimed top spot ahead of the suspension when Zinedine Zidane’s side lost at Real Betis.
There are then just two points between Sevilla in third and Atletico Madrid in sixth, with Real Sociedad and Getafe also in the hunt for Champions League qualification.
Espanyol, Leganes and Real Mallorca occupy the relegation places, but the latter two sides won their previous matches. Celta Vigo are a point clear of Mallorca in 17th.
Suspended since: March 9
Suspended until: April 3
Matches played: 25-26 of 38
Some Serie A matches had been postponed even before the Italian government confirmed a suspension of all sport in the country until April 3, leaving the league table a little imbalanced.
The country remains on lockdown, while a number of players – including Daniele Rugani, Manolo Gabbiadini and Patrick Cutrone – have tested positive.
Thank you for all of your concern. I am already feeling much better after a days rest. I hope everybody takes this disease seriously. If you feel the slightest symptoms, stay at home.
— Albin Ekdal (@EkdalAlbin) March 13, 2020
Italy’s top flight had been engaged in a gripping title tussle, with defending champions Juventus only a point ahead of Lazio. Inter have also been in the mix all season but lost to the Bianconeri behind closed doors last week to fall nine points off the pace, albeit with a game in hand.
Atalanta have lit up the Champions League this season and are hoping to qualify for next term. They sit fourth, three points ahead of Roma, who have played a game more.
Brescia and SPAL both look destined for the drop, meanwhile, but Lecce – in 18th – are level on points with Genoa, whose rivals Sampdoria are a point better off.
Suspended since: March 13
Suspended until: March 19
Matches played: 24-25 of 34
Bundesliga matches have only been postponed for one matchweek as things stand, yet the clubs are set to meet on Monday as the DFL suggests a suspension until April 2. Paderborn’s Luca Kilian was the first player in the top flight to test positive on Friday.
The enforced break came as Bayern Munich were building a lead at the top of the table. There was a four-way battle between the defending champions, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach at one stage. But Leipzig are winless in two and have dropped to third, a point behind Dortmund and five behind Bayern.
Those four teams are not yet even assured of Champions League football, however, with Bayer Leverkusen in fifth on 47 points – three shy of Leipzig.
Paderborn are bottom and six points away from a relegation play-off, with Werder Bremen two points above them. Fortuna Dusseldorf must make up four points to Mainz if they are to avoid the play-off.
Suspended since: March 13
Suspended until: TBC
Matches played: 27-28 of 38
Rather than set a provisional return date, the Ligue 1 season is on hold “until further notice”.
Just because there’s no action on the pitch this weekend doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some retro action from @girondins_en and @staderennais including a brilliant finish from @JP_Papin#FlashbackFriday #Ligue1Legends pic.twitter.com/suCeNRe9OK
— Ligue1 English (@Ligue1_ENG) March 13, 2020
While the league’s plan going forward is a little vague, the standings are clearer than in other countries. Paris Saint-Germain are 12 points ahead of second-placed Marseille with a game in hand.
The top two should clinch automatic Champions League qualification if the campaign can continue, while third-placed Rennes have a point advantage over Lille.
At the bottom, Toulouse’s miserable season has returned just 13 points. Amiens have 10 points more but are just one place better off and must gain four points on Nimes to reach the relegation play-off, which Saint-Etienne and Dijon are three clear of.
Laliga Joins Spanish Government To Promote The Return Of Tourism To Spain
The Spanish government, the Spanish Football Association, LaLiga and the Confederation of Employers and Industries of Spain (CEOE) have come together in a bid to boost and promote Spain as a safe destination for tourism and sport.
The campaign dubbed, “Safe Sport, Safe Tourism #SpainAwaitsYou” is being promoted through LaLiga’s international match broadcasts.
The “Safe Sport, Safe Tourism” campaign, with the #SpainAwaitsYou hashtag, was unveiled at LaLiga headquarters, in the presence of Isabel Oliver, the Secretary of State for Tourism; Irene Lozano, CSD president; Javier Tebas, LaLiga President; Antonio Garamendi, CEOE President; Manuel Muñiz, the Secretary of State for Global Spain; and Faustino Blanco, the General Secretary of the Ministry of Health Bringing together the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sport (via the Spanish High Council for Sport), the Ministry of Health, the CEOE and LaLiga, the initiative has been created to boost the tourism and sports industries in Spain, which are both so central to the economy and have suffered over the last few months during the COVID-19 pandemic.
LaLiga is very aware of the opportunity and responsibility that it has as a global entertainment platform, which is why it will be fully supporting this initiative, whose visibility will be boosted further by a specially created logo.
LaLiga is giving global visibility to the campaign through a logo that is seen during the competition’s international broadcasts, as well as through creative pieces and posts on its social media networks (on which it has over 100 million followers), region-specific virtual perimeter advertising boards, on the virtualized stands of LaLiga matches and digital marketing strategies, among other initiatives.
LaLiga President Tebas said, “I am immensely proud that professional football can keep helping boost Spain’s visibility beyond our borders and help the country’s economy. Football and LaLiga play a key role in promoting Spain all over the world, which is why it’s so important for us to be part of this project now.
At LaLiga, we’re going to do everything in our power for Spain to come out of this situation as quickly as possible.”
On his part, CSD president Lozano said,
“time to savour the restart.
A safe return has been outlined, in accordance with a protocol that will allow the competition to start up again successfully. Everyone should know about the effort that we have put in. We know that there’s no such thing as a zero risk but all of us, with our footballers leading the way, are giving our absolute best and acting responsibly and sensibly to ensure everything goes well.”
“Spain is ready to safely welcome international tourists from 1st July. We have thoroughly prepared to ensure we guarantee the highest safety standards across our whole tourism industry by rolling out over 20 uniform protocols for the entire country. We want tourists to feel confident and we are sending out a very clear message that will be amplified by this campaign: Spain is waiting for you,” Oliver, the Secretary of State for Tourism said.
By Etienne Mainimo
CA Osasuna, CF Fuenlabrada Assisting Local Groups During Pandemic De-Escalation
Two Spanish clubs, CA Osasuna and CF Fuenlabrada have step in with support aimed at reviving the local economy with new social campaigns that aim to help their local communities make a difference.
Across Spain, de-escalation from the COVID-19 pandemic has begun, with social and business activities starting to resume under careful health restrictions. But while thigs are going back to normals, significant levels of support are needed and football clubs have a key role to play.
According to Laliga newsletter, CA Osasuna and CF Fuenlabrada, are addressing this need with new social campaigns that aim to help their local communities, using their significant profile to make a difference.
The 42 clubs of LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank have all contributed to fighting the pandemic in the form of financial donations, offering physical resources to health services, sharing messages of support, providing entertaining content to fans and much more.
Going by the Director of Communication at CF Fuenlabrada, Álvaro de la Rosa “It’s a time of great uncertainty for these companies. To survive these recent weeks, many companies have reinvented themselves but did not have a way for people to know that they were operating despite the pandemic.”
“For example, we heard from one company that made bullfighter costumes. Given the situation, its production turned to making facemasks. But not even their clients were clear if they were open,” he said.
He added that, “The services sector and small businesses have the highest economic risks after this health crisis. We have received more than 60 requests, a very high number considering that the campaign was focused on the local area and not many businesses have been active.”
“Football can help people a lot and now is when they need us most. We owe a debt to our fans after all the support they have given us. We cannot fail them,” he said.
On the side of CA Osasuna has decided to support this initiative by creating 5,000 personalised facemasks bearing the colours, crest of the club, and delivered to local people with the greatest need.
According to information, the masks will be delivered to all club members over the age of 65, as well as the staff and residents of the San Jerónimo Estella residence and to Solera Asistencial, a collection of residences and occupational services for the elderly with which the club collaborates regularly. Delivery of the masks has been made mostly by post, accompanied by a letter in which the club conveys support to its older fans.
“Osasuna is a club that belongs to its members and we must be close to them, even more so in difficult situations. We wanted to help elderly fans to the best of our abilities, because they are the ones who are being punished most aggressively by this pandemic,” the said club President Luis Sabalza. “
By Etienne Mainimo
Atletico Club Targets New Audience In Tiktok
Spanish football Club, Atletico Club has become the latest LaLiga club signed in for TikTok, currently the world’s fastest-growing social network app.
The club hopes to hope to increase new audience and in a short space of time, its efforts are being rewarded.
The Basque club hopes to reach younger fans and continue international growth via the short-form video platform. Atletico Club is hoping to reinforce the need to stay active on social media and stay close to their fans during this pandemic period.
TikTok is currently the world’s fastest-growing social network with over 2 billion downloads. With a highly engaged and young user-base, football clubs have a clear opportunity to reach new audiences by establishing a presence on the platform.
The rapid growth of TikTok and the fact that it is so popular with younger people caught Athletic Club’s attention. “As part of the progressive modernization of our digital profiles we were clear that joining TikTok was something we should do,” the club explained.
This change in content style is reflective of Athletic Club’s ambition to reach a new profile of user that may not be accessible elsewhere. The club explained: “We’re looking to find the younger supporters of Athletic Club who maybe aren’t on other social networks, and we’re also keen for users who aren’t yet supporters to know more about the club. It’s possible on TikTok to reach a younger audience, the kind of users who are more difficult to reach through our other profiles.”
Over 20 Spanish clubs have also joined the TikTok platform in recent months, many assisted by LaLiga, which has had an official profile for over a year. Athletic Club is joining fellow LaLiga Santander clubs Atlético de Madrid, CA Osasuna, Leganés CF, FC Barcelona, Getafe CF, Levante UD, Celta de Vigo, RCD Espanyol de Barcelona, Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, SD Eibar, Sevilla FC and Valencia CF, as well as LaLiga SmartBank sides AD Alcorcón, Cádiz CF, Mirandés, Elche, CF Fuenlabrada, Girona FC, Racing Santander and Real Zaragoza.
LaLiga’s official TikTok account has over 1.3 million followers and was one of the first football-related accounts set up on the site. To deepen its relationship with the platform, the league established a unique partnership by agreeing for Douyin to become ‘LaLiga Official Social Media Partner’ in China.
This, going by reports makes LaLiga the first league in the world to sign such a deal with Douyin, which will help LaLiga and its clubs to take another step forward in their internationalization strategies.
By Etienne Mainimo
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