Sports competitions in Europe disrupted by the new epidemic wave

The situation looks like deja vu. Of course, we are not yet at a complete standstill as in 2020, but, faced with the current new wave of SARS-CoV-2 contaminations, the sports entertainment industry is once again forced to proceed. cancellations of competitions. In recent days, announcements have multiplied in Europe, for example for football or rugby.

Multiple carry-overs in the English football championship

Great Britain being particularly affected by the new epidemic wave, it is across the Channel that the impact is most noticeable. The Premier League, the elite English football championship, is thus faced with an inflation of positive cases among players. “The club no longer has enough able-bodied first team players”, assured, Thursday, the direction of the club of Leicester, of which two meetings were postponed Thursday and Sunday.

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A total of nine games, including six this weekend, have already been postponed, and the list of affected clubs is growing day by day. The Manchester United-Brighton, Southampton-Brentford and West Ham-Norwich matches, scheduled for Saturday, are also postponed. One of the questions now is whether the traditional Boxing Day on December 26 can take place normally.

In this epidemic context, rugby is not spared. The matches scheduled for the 2e European Cup Day (Champions Cup and Challenge Cup) suffer the consequences. Three of them, scheduled between Friday and Sunday, have been canceled: Pau-Saracens, Montpellier-Leinster and Racing 92-Ospreys.

In the case of Racing 92, the French club was “Considered the winner on the score of 28-0 with five ranking points awarded, in accordance with the tournament regulations”, said the European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) in a press release. Montpellier and Pau have also won on the green carpet.

Besides the positive cases among players, the matches are in question due to travel restrictions between France and the UK. On Saturday, the French government reinstated the obligation to “Compelling reasons” for travelers to and from the UK facing “The extremely rapid diffusion of the Omicron variant”. As sport is not considered a compelling reason, organizers and clubs hope to obtain exemptions from the authorities.

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Friday morning, the Lyon club was however able to take off to Wales, “With the agreement of the State”, to face the Newport Dragons in the European Challenge.

But a little later, a postponement of the weekend’s matches between French and British clubs was officially announced by the EPCR: this concerns Stade Rochelais, Clermont, Bordeaux-Bègles, Stade Toulouse and Stade francais in the Champions Cup. , Biarritz and Brive in the Challenge Cup.

Closed closed in Germany

Germany, where the wave of Covid-19 currently kills between 400 and 500 people per day, has severely limited the number of visitors to sports arenas. Some Länder (regional states), including Bavaria, have even decreed total closed doors.

In football, this measure affects Bayern Munich, deprived of spectators, but also all the winter sports World Cup events, including the two German stages of the prestigious Four Hills Tour, a major event of the jumping season. ski.

In Spain, the football federation has, for the moment, contented itself with canceling from this weekend “All formal salutes or tribute ceremonies” before the matches, “An additional measure in the face of the increase in cases”.

At Real Madrid, six players were notably detected positive for SARS-CoV-2 in two days, Wednesday and Thursday. The club have taken strict measures to try to stem this new focus of infection, before the reception of Cadiz on Sunday for the 18e championship day.

The World with AFP

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Sports competitions in Europe disrupted by the new epidemic wave