Premier League, European Rugby… Kovid-19 is once again playing a bad game

This year again the world of professional sports is not untouched by the Kovid-19 pandemic. From the Premier League to the European Rugby Cup to American basketball, many matches have been postponed because of positive cases among players or because of new restrictive measures.

The current wave of Covid-19 is affecting professional sport, particularly in Great Britain, where the Premier League is hit hard by contamination of players, while the European Rugby Cup is threatened by travel restrictions.

Nothing to do, for the time being, with the situation in 2020, when all competitions around the world were put on hold for months. But the resurgence of the virus and the measures imposed by the authorities are seriously hampering some subjects.

  • Premier League turned upside down

Nine Premier League matches, including six this weekend, have already been postponed due to player contamination, and the list of affected clubs is growing by the day.

“The club no longer has enough valid first team players”, assured the management of Leicester, on Thursday, 16 December, whose two meetings on Thursday and Sunday were postponed. Manchester United-Brighton, Southampton-Brentford and West Ham-Norwich, scheduled for Saturday, have also been postponed.

The very busy schedule makes the situation in England particularly delicate: matches are scheduled every day, except for 31 January, from the traditional “boxing day” of 26 December until 3 January.

Six Real Madrid players tested positive for COVID-19 over two days, Wednesday and Thursday: Marcelo, Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio, Rodrigo and Andrey Lunin. Three days before the reception of Cadiz, for Sunday (9 pm), the club has taken strict measures to try to prevent this new source of infection.And League Day.

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The Spanish federation has canceled “all protocol salutes or tribute ceremonies” from this weekend before matches, “an additional measure in the face of a rise in cases”.

  • European rugby on loan

2 . including two European Rugby CupsAnd Days running from Friday to Sunday are suspended. Matches between French and British clubs in the two European Rugby Cups scheduled for Saturday and Sunday have been postponed due to travel restrictions between the two countries, the competition’s organizer announced on Friday 17 December.

This relates to the five matches of the second day of the European Cup and two meetings of the European Challenge, with the EPCR stating that “they (…) intend to be rescheduled at a later date”.

“This is a result of the new travel restrictions between the UK and France that have been imposed by the French government,” explain the organisers. Paris has, in fact, as of Saturday, reinstated liability in the face of the “extremely rapid spread of the Omicron version” and for “compelling reasons” for travelers to the United Kingdom.

La Rochelle in Bath, Clermont in Sale or Bordeaux-Beggles’ matches against the Scarlets (Llanelli) will therefore be played at a later date. Just as the British from Bristol and Wasp were welcomed by the French Stadium and Toulouse respectively. In the Challenge, Worcester-Biarritz and London Irish-Brive are concerned.

“All other matches for this evening (Friday) and the second day scheduled for this weekend will be played as planned”, specifies the EPCR. Lyon is traveling to Wales to face the Dragons, M√ľnster from Castres, and Tolan who host the Italians from Zebre, so there will only be three teams in the top 14 to play this weekend.

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Some time ago, Montpellier and Racing 92 in the European Cup, as well as in the Challenge, Pau won their meetings on the green carpet due to cases of Covid-19 in the ranks of their opponents. For postponed matches, there will be a question of timing in the already filled calendar between championships and matches of national teams.

European clubs are threatening not to release their international players for the African Cup of Nations to be held in Cameroon in January-February because they are not satisfied with health protocols.

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The ECA (Association of European Clubs) points out above all the risk of absence of internationals for longer than the planned release period, due to “quarantine and travel restrictions”.

Germany, where the Covid wave is currently killing 400 to 500 people a day, has greatly limited crowds in playgrounds. Some lander (regional states) have also fixed the total in camera including Bavaria. The measure affects spectator-deprived Bayern Munich, but also affects all Winter Sports World Cup events, including the two German stages of the prestigious Four Hills tournament, a key event of the ski jumping season.

In North America, the NBA is deeply troubled by the absence of many players who are sick or placed in quarantine. In recent days, the Chicago Bulls have postponed two of their games because they could not field at least eight players, and on Tuesday, six Brooklyn Nets players, including star James Harden, were isolated because of sanitary measures. was given.

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In the NHL (ice hockey), the Montreal Canadiens played behind closed doors on Thursday for the first time since last year’s playoffs, and the Quebec government is talking about a 50% return to the grandstands.

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About the Author: Piers Parker

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