The Covid-19 virus is back with a vengeance and at a time when the new football season is just on the horizon. Just a few days ago, it appeared that the effects of the virus had been foiled in parts of Europe when England finally revealed plans open doors for spectators in the Premier League from next season.
The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had announced easing of the regulations around the wearing of masks and other Covid-appropriate behavior in the United Kingdom.
But everything has seemingly been undone as the virus is once again wreaking havoc and potentially affecting the upcoming season in football. And this time the effect is not just limited to Great Britain.
Clubs in Italy and Spain are also bearing the brunt of the infamous virus this time. The new season is getting closer FootTheBall takes a look at the impact and impact this can have on club football across Europe.
KARIM BENZEMA TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19
The French striker in exile who was frozen by Didier Deschamps for almost six years blues Kader, was finally appointed for the EM 2020.
The fact that France had been drawn into the alleged “group of death”, coupled with Benzema’s excellent performances for Real Madrid in the 2020/21 season, led Deschamps to make the decision.
But just before the start of the 2021/22 season, the former Lyon player fell victim to the deadly virus – which will prompt Carlo Ancelotti to prove the quintessence of crisis management to do without the French striker for a while.
Los Blancos announced this on the official website of the club with a short, concise statement confirms that Benzema has indeed tested positive for Covid-19.
Communication officer: Karim Benzema#Real Madrid
– Real Madrid CF (@realmadrid) July 23, 2021
Madrid issued a statement on Friday morning which read as follows: “Real Madrid CF confirm that our player Karim Benzema has tested positive for COVID-19.
In the future, the Frenchman will have to isolate himself, as Carlo Ancelotti and Co. continue the preparations for the new season.
And it is expected that Real Madrid will have to do without the French at least for the opening weeks of the season in Spain.
ARSENAL CANCELED FOOTBALL PRE-SEASON TOUR OVER COVID-19 CONCERNS
Elsewhere, English club Arsenal have canceled their pre-season tour of the United States due to concerns about the spread of the virus in the team’s group that was about to travel across the pond.
The Gunners have reported a small number of Covid-19 positive cases within the club and therefore canceled the tour ahead of the season in Florida.
You should travel to the southeastern US state to compete in the Florida Cup alongside Italian champions Inter Milan, Premier League club Everton and Colombian club Millionarios.
According to media reports, the people who tested positive are isolated in their respective houses and are asymptomatic according to the current status. The English club issued an official statement on this, which read as follows:
“After a small number of positive Covid tests with the planned tour group that will travel to America tomorrow, we unfortunately had to withdraw from the Florida Cup
“This difficult decision is based on ensuring the health and well-being of our players and staff.” Following this development, Arsenal’s training base was thoroughly cleaned to prevent the virus from spreading among other teammates.
Meanwhile, Inter Milan also canceled its pre-season tour in Florida due to concerns about the Spread of the virus in the United States of America, particularly in the state of Florida.
In the past few weeks, the southeastern US state has reported an increase in the number of coronavirus cases, so Inter Milan felt it was right to cancel their pre-season plans altogether.
From now on, only Everton and Millionarios will compete in the friendship competition in the USA before the start of the regular season.
🚨 TICKET & KICKOFF UPDATE 🚨
PLEASE NOTE: Game now begins at 6:00 PM ET.
🎟️: https://t.co/cA3ehoYdBx pic.twitter.com/Dh2BLJyNNH
– Florida Cup (@Florida_Cup) July 22, 2021
It has also been reported that Chelsea discovered a “possible positive” Covid-19 case in their pre-season travel group to Ireland and subsequently canceled the pre-season friendly on Irish soil.
POSSIBLE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON THE UPCOMING FOOTBALL SEASON
Spectators were only allowed during the final rounds of last season’s Premier League games, but optimism rose when the UK government announced it was relaxing the rules and easing restrictions.
This led to the expectation of seeing full capacity stadiums in England next season, with the The Premier League authorities hope that fans will indeed return to the stadiums in large numbers. But the renewed outbreak of the virus in team camps may have once again challenged this proposed plan.
And financially, the clubs’ income will be heavily burdened if the fans do not return to the stadiums for the new season. Every major European club has had to cut costs and player wages to cope with the financial burden of the pandemic.
But many were hoping for the return of fans for the season ahead and this would certainly have dampened their hopes of financial recovery and recovery after a busy season, both literally for the players on the pitch and metaphorically for the club officials off the pitch.