The Bundesliga set to be the first major league back in Europe
With the dearth of professional football around the world, due to the coronavirus pandemic, fans across the world are eagerly awaiting for announcements of when their favourite leagues will return.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the countries which dealt the best with the global pandemic, are likely to bring their sporting events back the earliest.
According to Johns Hopkins University, there have been 147,065 coronavirus cases in Germany. With 4,862 deaths.
Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany has been widely praised for her handling of the coronavirus crisis and it now looks very likely that this will be the first league to return in Europe.
Could the K-League return before the Bundesliga?
Another country praised for their handling of the coronavirus pandemic is South Korea.
Meanwhile, the South Korean K-League could well restart before the Bundesliga, or around a similar time in May.
On Monday, the KFA announced that teams from the K-League can play friendly matches, behind closed doors.
According to Agence France Presse (via L’Equipe), despite the return of K-League teams to the field of play, no date has been set for the start of the league itself.
The K-League has been delayed by two months
The start of the K-League 2020 season has so far been delayed by two months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The exact calendar and start date for the K-League is under discussion between the clubs.
Reading between the lines, it seems likely that the progress of these friendly matches will dictate when the top flight in South Korea returns.
South Korea was the second country to be hit with 100s of coronavirus cases, after China. Their case total stands at 10,683 with 237 deaths. (Data via Johns Hopkins University.)
News report in English on K-League teams playing friendlies
▪ K-LEAGUE TO START PRACTICE GAMES
— Arirang News (@arirangtvnews) April 21, 2020
What will be different for the return of the K-League?
The new “normal” for football around the world will be very different to what we were all used to before. This is likely to be the case until there is a vaccine for Covid-19.
For the upcoming K-League friendly matches, all games will be played behind closed doors.
Only three press members will be allowed in the stadium to report on the match.
Players and officials have also been told to refrain from shaking hands at the start and end of these matches as well.
AFP also report that players have been urged not to speak to each other on the field of play.