By Preye Campbell
Football will surely not forget 2020 in a hurry.
A complete turn of historic and horrific events saw football hit a different turning point. The emergence of the deadly Covid-19 in the early stages of the year only meant that football-as well as other activities- would take a different turn.
And a strange one.
A month long absence from football, empty stadiums and several safety measures combined with periods of self-isolation contributed to a different atmosphere that, sadly, has now come to stay in the world’s most coveted sport.
Covid-19 brought with it, huge financial implications in the game as most clubs are now neck-deep in crisis, no thanks to the huge loss in ticket sales and even transfer activities by some clubs that hoped to make deals on their prized assets.
2020 should have been a year for the Euros, a year for the Olympics, a final preparations for AFCON ’21, two years down for the biggest ever tournament in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Instead, three of these competitions have been pegged back to further years and even that swims in a sea of uncertainty.
For countries that could somehow manage to restore things to a level of normalcy, our darling sport returned to our screens.
Even though it missed a lot of ingredients, we would rather have a half-baked English Premier League, Italian Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 over none at all.
Sadly, same cannot be said for some parts of Africa; with Nigeria missing in action with the Nigeria Professional Football League in the 2019/20 season cancelled.
Plans are being made all over the world to return football to its beautiful state once again; with the big leagues in Europe recently including fan attendance in stadiums. Even here at home, there is a possibility that a new NPFL season will kick-off later in December.
Any unforeseen circumstance, however, could see us return to now familiar grounds as we play Covid-19 football – and that is likely to happen.
In 2020, the game had just one opponent; Covid-19.