Chapter One of COVID-19 Football
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By Preye Campbell
Distance-generated substitutions. Masked subs. Empty stadia. Ladies and Gentlemen, football is back.
The German Bundesliga has given us a taste of what we are going to see in a while – a long while – in football.
For a spell in this year, we have forgotten what football feels like; action-packed weekends, an electrifying atmosphere, hugs, screams and tears proudly brought to you by the round leather game. With a nervy battle in the world against Coronavirus, I was not so sure a day like today (Saturday) could come.
But, here we are, albeit in much stranger circumstances. To be sincere, when was the last time you saw an Erling Haaland goal with a good level of caution on who gets to jump at him? This where we find ourselves in football and this is what it could look like for a long, long period.
With the Bundesliga opting to begin a fresh season today (Saturday), we have seen a sample of what I will like to call a Coronavirus induced football. Just thinking, maybe all leagues should employ a sort of coronavirus tag to their titles. We could have a Coronavirus English Premier League for instance, or the traditional English Premier League could be retained, with the official logo now being the famous Lion wearing a nose mask.
I could paint further hilarious pictures in my mind, but things have seriously become dire as we know it.
Undoubtedly, the taste of football has bow changed with something more cautionary and hygienic. The natural, thrilling tackles, hugs, slaps, players marching down to the referee that have become the fan’s thinking of the beautiful game are set to become folktales now, or at least until things become alright once again.
But will things ever become alright again?
I will not delve into the politics of life, my affair remains football and football-related matters only.
So, let me be the first to congratulate the Bundesliga officials for returning to us- in such dire times- the most supported game on the planet.
But at what cost?
Again, I do not know and I cannot tell. Of course, I am happy football is back and of course, my weekends will now become much meaningful and lively. But a fan’s thinking might just be one part of a whole lot bigger issue.
So I will just end with Gary Lineker’s assertion: I am nervously excited about the return of football.
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