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The greatest game on planet earth must go on


The greatest game on planet earth must go on

The greatest game on planet earth must go on

Football across the globe has come to a standstill due to the COVID-19 outbreak, domestic competitions were coming into the final stretch of the season before all competition got suspended until further notice. Premier League runaway leaders Liverpool were just two weeks away from clinching their first League trophy in 30 years.

The outbreak has caused mass panic across the globe and has truly brought countries to a standstill.

Italy are currently suffering the most recording the most deaths due to COVID-19 with totals close to 5,000.

High profile football stars such as Paulo Dybala and Blaise Matuidi both have tested positive for the virus, but appear to be on the mend rather swiftly.

English football too has taken a hit with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta testing positive for the deadly virus, as well as Chelsea and England international Callum Hudson- Odoi falling ill.

Mikel Arteta was one of the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the top flight of English football.

Photo by me: Arteta speaking after a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Sheffield

Despite both Arteta and Hudson-Odoi testing positive, no other high profile figures in and around Arsenal and Chelsea have tested positive.

Both clubs training grounds went under a deep clean with players and staff advised to self-isolate for up to two weeks.

What impact has COVID-19 had on football?

All competition has been suspended until further notice with the Premier League still discussing how domestic competition can be finalised.

The supposed plan is to resume play at the start of June and finish the remaining fixtures within a six week period, which would see Liverpool be crowned champions and three teams facing the drop to the Championship.

Behind closed door competition is looking the likely outcome.

Some board members of clubs were opposed to the season resuming. In no surprise it was Karren Brady of West Ham who put out a column on The Sun website, “As games in both the PL and in the EFL are affected, the only fair and reasonable thing to do is declare the whole season null and void.

“Who knows who would have gone down or come up if the games have not actually been played in full?”

Karren Brady’s West Ham are currently involved in a relegation battle, so it seems easier to just scrap the league and no gets relegated right?

Tottenham were reportedly the only other team who also called for the season to be declared null and void.

UEFA have also postponed and pushed back EURO 2020 till next summer allowing club competition to be finished as well as allowing Europe to get a hold on the crisis.

What are the implications of a null and void season?

There is however one stumbling block before large amounts of rival fans rejoice at the fact that Liverpool would be denied the title, Sky and BT’s big money TV rights.

Premier League clubs would have to pay back a whopping £750m fine for being in breach of their contract.

That works out at a potential £37m per top-flight club.

This would cause massive financial problems for clubs which is why the season will more than likely continue.

The show must go on

Football isn’t the same without fans, and playing games behind closed doors really does take the magic out of football.

It would have that pre-season friendly feeling, and for clubs in the thick of fighting for survival, fans are massively important.

Having fans roaring you on, creating a deafening atmosphere can help contribute to some of the biggest upsets of a season.

I’m sure most clubs if they were to get relegated would want to do it fighting in front of their own fans.

As much as the coronavirus continues to spread across the UK with deaths reaching over 230 and now over 5,000 cases, the greatest game on planet earth MUST  go on.

Joshua Webb

Student journalist studying at London South Bank University, with a love for writing and a passion for sports and politics.

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