Sports competitions in Europe disrupted by a new wave of the epidemic

Nine Premier League football matches, six of which are scheduled for this weekend, have been rescheduled.

The situation is similar to deja vu. Admittedly, we are not yet completely at a standstill like we were in 2020, but faced with the current new wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections, the sports entertainment industry is once again forced to start canceling competitions. In recent days, announcements have become more frequent in Europe, for example, about football or rugby.

Numerous postponements of the Premier League

The UK has been hit particularly hard by the new wave of the epidemic, and it is across the English Channel that its impact is most significant. So the Premier League, England’s elite football league, is facing an inflation of positive player cases. “The club is no longer short of able-bodied first-team players”assured on Thursday the leadership of the Leicester club, two meetings of which were rescheduled for Thursday and Sunday.

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A total of nine matches, including six this weekend, have already been rescheduled and the list of affected clubs is growing day by day. Matches Manchester United – Brighton, Southampton – Brentford and West Ham – Norwich, scheduled for Saturday, have also been postponed. One of the questions now is whether the traditional Boxing Day on December 26 may proceed as usual: the clubs should discuss a possible break during the holidays.

On Friday, UK Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston asked players at the BBC to show responsibility and get vaccinated. According to the English Federation, 25% of professional players in the Premier League do not intend to be vaccinated.

Confused situation at the European Rugby Cup

In this epidemic context, rugby has not been ignored. Matches scheduled for 2as well as European Cup Day (Champions Cup and Challenge Cup) is suffering from the consequences. Three of them scheduled for Friday to Sunday have been cancelled: Pau-Saracens, Montpellier-Leinster and Racing 92-Ospreys.

In the case of Racing 92, the French club was “considered the winner with a score of 28-0 with five ranking points in accordance with the rules of the tournament”, according to a European Professional Rugby Club (EPCR) press release. Montpellier and Pau also won on the green carpet.

Apart from the positive cases among the players, the matches are in doubt due to travel restrictions between France and the UK. On Saturday, the French government restored the obligation “compelling reasons” for travelers to and from the UK facing “Extremely rapid spread of the Omicron variant”. Since sport is not considered a valid reason, organizers and clubs are hoping to get exemptions from the authorities.

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On Friday, December 17, in the morning the Lyon club was still able to fly to Wales, “with the consent of the state”to take on the Newport Dragons in the European Challenge that evening.

But a little later, EPCR officially announced the postponement of weekend matches between French and British clubs: this applies to Stade rochelais, Clermont, Bordeaux-Bègles, Stade toulousain and Stade francais in the Champions Cup, Biarritz and Brive in the Champions Cup. Challenge Cup.

Behind closed doors introduced in Germany

Germany, where the wave of Covid-19 is currently claiming between 400 and 500 deaths a day, has for its part very heavily restricted crowds in sports arenas. Some states (regional states), including Bavaria, have even announced a common behind closed doors.

In football, the measure affects Bayern Munich, devoid of spectators, as well as all Winter Sports World Cup events, including two German legs of the prestigious Four Hills Tournament, the main event of the ski jumping season.

In Spain, the football federation has simply canceled this weekend for now. “all protocol salutes or tribute ceremonies” before the games “additional measure due to increase in cases”.

In Real Madrid, over two days, Wednesday and Thursday, six players tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. The club has taken strict measures to try and contain this new source of infection ahead of the Cadiz host on Sunday at 18as well as championship day.

Peace with AFP