The last two years have been a struggle for many worldwide with Covid-19 affecting millions of people around the globe. The effect on sport seems like the least of people’s worries. However, sport is a great source of joy and entertainment in troubled times. Football is the world’s favourite sport, but in England, the football schedule has been decimated of late due to the new Omicron variant of Covid-19.
A busy period of football in England
While many of Europe’s biggest football nations enjoy a short winter break over the festive period, the period tends to be a busy one for Premier League teams. Most teams will play two league games and an FA Cup tie in the period.
However, the way things are going English top-flight clubs may well be enjoying a winter break alongside their continental counterparts.
This weekend’s schedule saw six games postponed due to positive tests at clubs. Aston Villa’s home game with Burnley on Saturday was called off just two hours before kick-off, much to the annoyance of many associated with both clubs.
Mixed opinions on a circuit breaker
With so many clubs suffering from Covid-19 outbreaks, some have called for a short break in play to act as a circuit breaker, an opinion voiced by Brentford head coach Thomas Frank.
However, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is of the opposite opinion that the scheduled games should be played. The former Dortmund boss has also voiced his support in recent months for vaccination programmes.
The Premier League at this point in time remains committed to fulfilling the fixtures when possible. However, with outbreaks at virtually every club, it is hard to predict what will happen next.
Expect the unexpected in the next few weeks
Not many people expected there to be so many positive Covid-19 cases within football. It seems that clubs in England have been the worst hit of any in the European game, as other big European leagues have had virtually no matches postponed due to the illness.
For football fans and everybody connected with English clubs, we are at the point of having to expect the unexpected over the next few weeks and beyond. Nobody knows when the next game will be postponed due to more positive tests within clubs. However, what we do know is that the situation is becoming always untenable when it comes to games taking place.
Maybe a short break until the new year would not be the worst idea in the world. It would mean no Boxing Day games. However, due to the self-isolation period needed, some of the Boxing Day games are unlikely to take place anyway.
It would be a logical decision to rearrange those Boxing Day games. Unfortunately, with so many competitions still running, postponement would mean fitting in those lost fixtures at some other time, which could become a nightmare for the Premier League.
As fans and writers, we must just see what happens. There are more important things in life than football, but life is certainly less enjoyable without the beautiful game.
Should the Premier League’s Boxing Day fixtures take place?