Now 21 European countries have confirmed return to playing football matches
On 16 May 2020, Germany began playing football again.
The Bundesliga the first European top tier to start competitive matches after the virus brought football to a standstill around the world.
Now two weeks later, they have already began playing their fourth round of league fixtures since the restart and aim to complete the 2019/20 Bundesliga campaign by the end of June.
The Premier League is now scheduled to restart on Wednesday 17 June with two fixtures, with Newcastle United then set to play on the following weekend (Friday 19 June – Sunday 21 June) when there will be a full round of PL fixtures.
However, the Premier League is set to be one of the last European top tiers to start playing football once again, as this list of countries / leagues show.
16 May – Germany
25 May – Czech Republic
28 May – Denmark
29 May – Poland
30 May – Serbia, Lithuania, Israel, Ukraine
2 June – Austria
4 June – Portugal
6 June – Greece
11 June – Spain
12 June – Turkey
13 June – Slovakia, Romania
14 June – Sweden
16 June – Norway
17 June – England
19 June – Switzerland
20 June – Italy
21 June – Russia
The list above has been compiled by GFFN (Get French Football News) and I must admit I was quite amazed at how rapidly football had returned, or is set to return, all over Europe.
In the English media we have heard very little, apart from the coverage of the Bundesliga and odd mentions of what is going on with La Liga and Serie A.
In France, a lot of football fans are very frustrated that the French government forced a premature end to the 2019/20 season for Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, especially when they see a return of football in so many other countries, albeit behind closed doors.
The premature end to the season has caused serious problems for Ligue 1 clubs in terms of financial concerns, whilst a number of clubs are taking legal action due to how the final league tables were decided.
As you can see from the GFFN graphic below: France, Holland, Belgium and Scotland are the only four to bring their football seasons to an end early. With Latvia, Azerbaijan, Northern Ireland, Kazakhstan and Finland all waiting for a date from government as to when they can start playing again.
We all look forward of course to the day when we will all be able to go to matches as normal but in the meantime, great to see football on its way back across Europe as the first step towards that.
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