Article: Big European Leagues Inching Closer to Return to Action

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By Jonathan Lewis | 13th MAY 2020

Football authorities across Europe are working hard to formulate a plan to complete the 2019/20 season.

UEFA has given leagues a deadline of May 25 to confirm how they will restart their domestic competitions, with the aim of having all the fixtures played by the end of July.

That scenario would allow the governing body to stage the outstanding Champions League and Europa League ties in August, before getting the 2020/21 campaign underway in mid-September.

With Ligue 1 already deciding to cancel the rest of its season, we take a closer look at the latest state-of-play in the other major European leagues.

Premier League

The UK government has cleared the way for the Premier League to restart the season on June 1, although there are still issues that need to be resolved before that can happen.

Sport can be staged behind closed doors from the start of next month, with fans able to watch the games via football live stream services.

However, venues for the games are proving to be a sticking point, with numerous clubs said to be unhappy at the prospect of being forced to play at neutral grounds.

Some players have also expressed concerns about returning to action, leaving the Premier League with work to do before it is able to resume.

Bundesliga

The Bundesliga is on track to be the first big European league to resume, with a full round of fixtures scheduled to take place this weekend.

All games will be played behind closed doors, with a limit of around 300 people including staff, players and officials allowed into the stadiums on matchdays.

Fans will be able to watch the action via traditional broadcast channels, live streaming services and on mobile apps.

Highlights of the first round of matches include Borussia Dortmund versus Schalke and Eintracht Frankfurt versus Borussia Monchengladbach.

La Liga

La Liga is aiming to restart on June 12 and plans to stage football every day as it bids to complete the season by the end of July.

League bosses have said they will explore ‘interesting and ground-breaking’ broadcast alternatives in order to ensure that fans can watch all the games.

Numerous clubs, including Barcelona, began individual training last week and they will be ramping things up over the next few weeks.

With just two points separating Barca and Real Madrid at the top of the table, fans could be in for a treat when play resumes.

Serie A

Italian football authorities are yet to settle on an exact return date, with the end of May currently being floated as the most likely outcome.

The clubs will be eager to get something set in stone, particularly with broadcasters withholding the latest payment due to the clubs.

In order to be ready for the possible restart, many clubs have welcomed players back for individual training sessions.

With just a point between Juventus and Lazio at the top of the Serie A standings, this is another league that will attract plenty of viewers on live streaming services.

Jonathan Lewis is an MFF Sports Writer

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