Will football continue in England if Boris Johnson announces third national lockdown?

Will football continue in England if Boris Johnson announces third national lockdown?

Football came back

With England on the verge of a possible third lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, the world of football will be looking for answers as to whether their beloved game will continue if the country does indeed decide that stricter measures are needed to cope with the spread of Covid-19.

During the initial lockdown, football was one of the first indicators of the pandemic’s impact on our daily life with matches being postponed and coaches and players testing positive for the virus.

Eventually, the sport was stopped as the country went into its first lockdown in response to the initial spread of the virus. However, the Premier League launched Project Restart which saw matches in England’s top tier recommence and the season was finished behind closed doors.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 25: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta before the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on October 25, 2020 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 25: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta before the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on October 25, 2020 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

At the beginning of the 2020/21 season, the game began again with no fans in the stadium and it took time before a few were allowed back into grounds. However, a second lockdown soon occurred in the lead up to Christmas. This time though, football did continue behind closed doors as it had done at the start of Project Restart.

What should be understood from the period in which football has continued on behind closed doors is that the governing bodies and clubs of the game have learned to cope with the organisation of matches during the pandemic. Should a third lockdown take place, the evidence suggests the sport has the experience to handle it.

Will it continue now?

Ultimately football fans will need to wait until the official announcement from the Prime Minister to know whether or not the game will go on, however, there are some indications that the sport will indeed continue.

Scotland announced that it would be entering its own lockdown. The nation has been independent of England in regards to its decision-making, as has Wales and Northern Ireland, on dealing with the pandemic.

With the Scottish Premiership title race growing increasingly more in Rangers’ favour, it was asked whether the league would continue and see Steven Gerrard and his side to push towards a first title in many seasons.

BBC Scotland’s Sports correspondent Chris McLaughlin said, “Those ‘involved in professional sports, for training, coaching or competing in an event’ will be allowed to leave their homes under new restrictions. Seems professional sport continues as normal, for now.”

If England does indeed follow the same path as that of their northern neighbour, it is likely that the Premier League will also continue on as will other tiers further down the league pyramid.

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.