‘Coronavirus’ is the name of a new reality, a truth which is dictating the new world where people are sent home so that they can stay healthy and come out to work in the future. The virus which is officially called COVID-19 has been categorised as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).
As of today, March 26, 2020, more than 20,000 people have lost their lives due to the virus which originated from the city of Wuhan in China in December last year whereas more than 400,000 people have been officially infected.
Two of the severely affected countries due to the novel Coronavirus are from Europe—Italy and Spain—where the most number of deaths are recorded.
Digging through the official statistics, both countries have recorded more than 52% of the casualties in the world from COVID-19, and whether we like it or not, football played a criminal role in spreading the virus across Europe.
Unfortunate night in Milan
It was February 19, it was one of the UEFA Champions League nights, it was Atalanta—a club based in the northern part of Italy in Bergamo—who faced Spanish La Liga club Valencia in the first-leg of the round-of-16 in Europe’s elite club competition at the historic San Siro. By then, Italy’s total number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus was just three, as per Worldometer.
However, what followed after that night was an unimaginable outbreak of a virus which has now killed more than 7,500 people in Italy alone.
Bergamo’s Mayor Giorgio Gori was quoted by the Guardian as saying that football match on February 19 brought a nightmare on a country who had one of the best medical systems in the world.
According to Gori, about 40,000 fans travelled 40 Kilometers to Milan to attend the match and had some of the COVID-19 patients within them who were asymptomatic.
Those people not only attended the match in the stadium but visited bars and engaged in the social gathering, something which is opposite to what is recommended during a time when the world is facing such a contagious virus.
Gori’s claim about the football match proving to be a ‘bomb’ in increasing the number of cases of COVID-19 in the region is being backed by the official statistics as well wherein the two weeks from that match, the total number of officially confirmed patients went from just three in Italy on February 19 to 3,089 on March 4, 2020, and today it stands at 74,386.
From there on, the country with one of the oldest population in the world just never looked like controlling the outbreak.
Italy was not the only affected country from that unfortunate night as the match had visitors from Spain as well where Valencia fans travelled more than 1,000 kilometres to support their team at the San Siro.
And it was no surprise that the majority of the early cases in Spain were from Valencia whereas the majority of the first confirmed cases in La Liga were also of Valencia players.
That all could’ve been avoided had UEFA took things seriously and followed the other sporting bodies who were postponing the events in the wake of Coronavirus, but instead, they went ahead with the events believing some sort of immunity and were more focused towards achieving their financial objectives.
UEFA was not the only body who showed complacency at the time of global pandemic as there was an equal sort of arrogance showed by the Premier League and the German Bundesliga.
Both bodies refused to follow the path of making sure the safety of the audience as well as the players and held matches thinking nothing could go wrong, mainly citing that they will face huge financial loses if the games are either postponed or played behind the closed doors.
European football’s ugly face in time of crisis
It is often said that the reality of someone becomes clear when there is a time of adversity, and European football has truly shown their ugly face in the time of crisis.
It is becoming increasingly clear that clubs will take some financial hit with all the leagues in the continent have been postponed pretty much indefinitely.
However, it is also clear that the majority who will going to suffer during these crises are the lower league clubs, where the main source of income is the gate money.
As of today, there have been no powerhouse in European football who came forward and announced a plan to support lower league clubs to overcome such difficult times.
Instead, some of the owners and club’s hierarchies have been quoted saying blatantly that they want to restart football as soon as possible to reduce their own damages, that too despite having a turnover of hundreds of millions of Euros per year.
“We have overcome many pandemics and crises before. We will overcome this one, too. The question is how large a price we will pay,” were the words of WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday and as optimistic that may have sound, it is also true that the people living on this planet have shown time and again the courage to overcome such crisis.
However, once this will be all over, questions should be asked to the authorities in the football governing bodies about their criminal negligence at a time when nothing mattered more than saving human lives.
Premier League: Manchester City Gives Liverpool its 19th Premier League Title, Ends 30 Years Title Drought
Liverpool was crowned Premier League champions after Manchester City lost their match against Chelsea. After Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Manchester City on Wednesday night, Liverpool’s massive lead at the top became mathematically unassailable and the historic moment was all theirs.
Liverpool has been crowned Premier League champions without kicking a ball on Thursday as Manchester City ended the Reds’ 30-year wait to win the English title. Jurgen Klopp’s men sealed a 19th league title for the club with a record seven games left to play after second-placed City’s defeat left them 23 points adrift. Liverpool had moved within two points of the title with a 4-0 demolition of Crystal Palace at Anfield on Wednesday.
The Reds placed both hands on the trophy with an impeccable record of 28 victories, two draws, and just a single defeat, ending their 30-year wait for a league title.
Liverpool has become the butt of so many jokes over the years with Manchester United accelerating past them to 20 league titles with 13 plaques coming in the Premier League era.
Liverpool got the favor they wanted from Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Willian’s 78th-minute penalty, awarded for a handball by Fernandinho, ended City’s two-year reign as champions after Kevin De Bruyne had canceled out Christian Pulisic’s opener.
Liverpool has clinched the title earlier than any other Premier League champions, breaking the previous record of five games left shared by City and Manchester United.
It has been an agonizing wait for Liverpool fans across the world, with the coronavirus hiatus forcing them to put the champagne on ice after the Premier League has suspended in March with Klopp’s team two wins from the title.
The three-month delay was a final obstacle on Liverpool’s long road back to the pinnacle of English football.
Before next season becomes a topic of conversation, though, there are still so many records Liverpool can break and their immaculate win rate suggests it could be a formality.
The Merseyside club is on course to accumulate the most home and away wins as well as the largest margin of victory to go with their record of the earliest ever title win.
And their current total of 86 points tees them up nicely to break Manchester City’s record of 100 during the 2017/18 season with room to spare.
Manchester City had won the last two Premier League titles, but their campaign for a ‘three-peat’ never really gathered momentum and their next game, well, comes against Liverpool themselves.
It will be a painful moment for Pep Guardiola and co if they follow what has become a Premier League tradition of staging a guard of honor for the newly-crowned champions.
Klopp has become the first German manager to win the Premier League, has been the architect of Liverpool’s renaissance since the former Borussia Dortmund boss arrived at Anfield in 2015.
Infusing his players with a belief in his “heavy metal” football and high-tempo “Gegen-pressing” game-plan, the charismatic Klopp has earned his place alongside Liverpool’s iconic former managers Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, and Kenny Dalglish.
Following years of underachievement, Klopp has brought his unique style and major trophies back to Liverpool.
It should be noted that they won the Champions League last season when they beat Tottenham in the final, 12 months after losing to Real Madrid at the same stage of the competition.
Liverpool was pipped to the title by Manchester City on the final day of last season, finishing with a record 97 points for top-flight runners-up.
But with Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino forming a formidable front three, Jordan Henderson a tireless presence in midfield and Virgil van Dijk imperious at the back, Liverpool have left City trailing in their wake this season.
Premier League: Tottenham Confirms One Positive Case Of Coronavirus After The Fifth Testing Exercise.
Tottenham have confirmed they have received the only positive test for coronavirus from the fifth round of Premier League testing results.
The fifth batch of tests took place on Monday June 01 and Tuesday June 02 2020.
A statement from Tottenham reads: “We have been informed by the Premier League that we have received one positive test for COVID-19 following the latest round of testing at our Training Centre”.
Due to medical confidentiality, the individual’s name will not be disclosed.
They are currently asymptomatic and will now self-isolate for seven days, in line with Premier League protocol, before undergoing further testing.
We shall continue to strictly adhere to the Premier League’s Return to Training protocol, which ensures our Training Centre remains a safe and virus-free working environment.
Amazon will broadcast its remaining four games for free after Premier League resumption
The American giant, which has part of the rights of the Premier League in Great Britain, announced Wednesday that it will offer in clear its four remaining matches with the resumption of the competition, on June 17.
Good news for British supporters. As the resumption of the interrupted season approaches (June 17), the American giant of online sales Amazon announces that it will air in clear in Great Britain the four Premier League matches out of the 92 remaining to be played this season which it has the rights.
These meetings will be visible through its Prime Video online streaming service, without the need to subscribe to the Prime offer.
Free also on Sky and the BBC
Sky Sports has announced that 25 of its 64 matches will be broadcast unscrambled on its Pick channel, while the BBC obtained the rights to broadcast four matches on terrestrial television (this will be the first time that the “Beeb” will broadcast live meetings of the English elite e since 1988). A total of 33 matches will therefore be in the clear out of the 92 matches that Sky Sports, BT Sport, BBC Sport and Amazon Prime will share.
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