German Bundesliga Favored to Be First Major Soccer League to Return to Play; Serie A 10-1 Underdogs

Borussia Moenchengladbach and FC Koln played behind clsoed doors
Players of Borussia Moenchengladbach celebrate after their 2-1 defeat of FC Koln in Germany’s Bundesliga - which was played on March 11 behind closed doors before the shut-down of European football. Photo from @BundesligaEN (Twitter).
  • Major European soccer leagues on Coronavirus lockdown 
  • Resumption in mid-May suggested by Spanish La Liga chief
  • See odds on first league to resume with Bundesliga ahead of EPL

Soccer in Europe awoke to some optimistic headlines on Saturday with the head of the game in Spain suggesting all competitions could resume by mid-May.

Javier Tebas, chief of La Liga, said in an interview: “In mid-May we should be able to be back on with all European competitions. Of course, it depends on how the pandemic evolves. But it could even be before then.”

The game is on lockdown across the world as nations fight the Coronavirus.

However, contingencies for a resumption of the sport are being drawn up constantly, with Germany’s Bundesliga deemed the most likely to returning to footballing normality first, favoured at +150

European Soccer Leagues Return to Play Odds

Team Odds
Germany Bundesliga +150
England Premier League +250
France Ligue 1 +350
Spain La Liga +375
Italy Serie A +1000

Odds taken March 21.

England’s Premier League is rated at +250 with France’s Ligue 1 at +350.

Italy and Spain are currently the two European nations most badly hit by the deadly contagion.

Spain’s La Liga is rated at +375 to return to competition first with Italy’s Serie A the outsiders at +1000.

 

Football Return Will Raise Morale

The return of competitive football – whenever it happens – will be seen as a huge and welcome symbol of life getting back on the track in the wake of any reduction of the virus’s effects.

It may be that the EPL starts up again first as a scenario appears to be developing under which there are gathering plans for matches to resume behind closed doors.

One idea gaining traction in England is for the 20 EPL clubs to play all of the remaining 92 games behind closed doors.

The matches would be staged at neutral venues at a separate time and live on TV.

It has been reported in England that there are plans under discussion featuring a date of July 12 for the completion of the EPL season.

The EPL has the biggest television contracts of any European league with suggestions that they would have to pay $1.275 million in compensation if the competition is not fulfilled.

Although this is past UEFA’s current stated date of June 30 for a completion of all competitions, it is still the first unofficially suggested “dated” cut-off point . Indeed, both UEFA’S hopes and the comments of Spanish chief Tebas look over-optimistic.

The EPL has the biggest television contracts of any European league with suggestions that they would have to pay $1.275 million in compensation if the competition is not fulfilled and matches are not supplied for broadcast.

Again, this could mean the EPL – with nine rounds of games remaining – might return first.

Meanwhile, according to the BBC on March 21, Germany had the fourth highest number of reported Coronavirus cases in the world with a collated number of 19,848. However, there had been only 68 deaths, which is at the lower end of the scale.

EPL On Hold Until April 30

The Bundesliga is currently suspended until April 2, although it is expected that it will soon fall in line with other major leagues such as the EPL and England’s Football League, which are both on hold until April 30 – with further delays expected.

It is the fact that currently, the Bundesliga is suspended only until April 2 which fuels the idea that it may be first back into action.

By comparison, France’s Ligue 1, is suspended indefinitely. Spain, meanwhile, cancelled the next two rounds of La Liga games on March 12 but an extension to the shut-down is certain.

Italy’s Serie A is suspended until April 3 but it is unthinkable  that this will not be extended for a longer period in Europe’s worst hit nation – even after initial lockdown restrictions are lifted.

The Euro 2020 tournament which was due to be played in 12 different cities across the continent has been postponed for a year.

The number of cases reported in Germany suggests it is unlikely the Bundesliga will not extend its current cut-off point beyond April 2.

Debate is raging about how football should resume with so many variable and unknown factors at work.

The number of cases reported in Germany suggests it is unlikely the Bundesliga will not extend its current cut-off point beyond April 2.

It may be that the major leagues resume at the same time under instruction from the European governing body UEFA once it is deemed safe.

The BBC figures show that the UK has the 10th highest number of confirmed cases at 3,983 with 177 deaths.

Against the Europe-wide trend, soccer has continued to be played before crowds in Belarus.

The new season there commenced on Thursday with four fixtures played last Thursday and Friday and eight more scheduled for this weekend.

Pick: England Premier League (+250)

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