Equity or income? Why the Champions League-2019/20 cost to leave without a winner

The Champions League is UEFA’s most prestigious club tournament of the continent – from the middle of March actually is paused due to pandemic coronavirus. Some time the question of the fate of the season was left without a definite answer, but in mid-June, UEFA still decided. Champions League-2019/20 will be finished, and on the original format from the final pool of eight teams, the matches between them will have to take Lisbon.

For loyal fans of the Champions League, which in Europe is a lot like the news, of course, was positive, however, all is not as straightforward as it might seem at first glance. The point of view that the Champions League would be worth to announce completed ahead of schedule and leave without the winner also has the right to life, and it is not meaningless, not to mention much more aspect of justice.

Football is a sport that brings together different countries regardless of political or socio-economic realities of their existence. It is a good platform for consolidation, but only in the case when all do at the same time and in equal conditions. It seems that the situation around coronavirus, the disposition is somewhat different. In fact, each country has its own characteristics, pandemic: somewhere in Sweden, have relied on the production of “herd immunity” somewhere in Belarus practically has not imposed any restrictions, and in many other States of the continent acted in a quarantine of varying degrees of severity. In other words, every country is struggling with the coronavirus and its consequences as it sees fit. A single, unified system is not and probably can not be.

All this directly affected the football. For example, in France in April, the government adopted a decision banning the resumption of the draw of the national championship in football and other professional sports until September, as announced by still working at the time, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe. Largely because of this, the League 1 was declared completed ahead of schedule. This was to some extent logical, but when first went to Germany back, followed by all other Championships of the top 5, it became clear that the French, perhaps too safe, but the selection they have, in fact, was not against the government, the football will not go.

In the end, the current Champions League, which UEFA, obviously, by all means try to finish in dramatic fashion in losing almost basic sporting principle of equality of conditions between all players. Yes, someone may argue that it did not exist earlier – say, every club has its budget and economic opportunities, and therefore what kind of equality we can talk, but before the end of the season, the most football Championships of Europe was unified.

In this regard, we come, perhaps, to the main problem of the current UEFA decision about the need plays in the Champions League. In early August, when do you plan to resume the tournament, all the teams participating in the conditionally can be divided into three groups, directly dependent on a functional-physical readiness: 1) those who will be in the pre-season phase without the need for formal matches within 5 months (“Lyon” and “Paris Saint-Germain”); 2) those who will lead the pre-season, but their last matches held about a month ago (with teams from Germany and Spain); 3) those who was “pushed” by the calendar and barely completed the “compulsory program” in their national leagues (teams from England and Italy).

In such a scenario is absolutely impossible to talk about justice and real opportunity to provide the correct competition. With the biggest problem, of course, will face “Paris St Germain” and “lion”. Moreover, if the Parisians at least managed to guarantee to itself an exit in 1/4 final, “weavers” only held its first match of 1/8 final against Juventus. In the home match, Lyon have beaten the Turin club with the score 1:0 and under normal conditions would have a certain head start over the opponent, but given the fact that the “weavers” are completely deprived of play (in France planned to hold only the finals of the national Cup and League Cup, which will take place at the end of July, but seriously talk about them as a full-fledged practice, official matches is hardly possible). Juventus, by contrast, has excellent chances to guarantee themselves the League title in Serie A, but because the rest of the championship purposefully to devote preparing to restart of the Champions League – and even pause at the Turin side will be as usual. August 2, Juventus will play the final match of the season in Serie A against Roma, and already the number 7 to play the second game of the 1/8 finals of the Champions League with Lyon.

In addition, it is not clear what the staffing situation will approach the team for the resumption of the Champions League. Those who have not played for a long time unable to face the problem of poor training and the unwillingness to have the intensity of game play. Others, on the contrary, due to excessive workloads risk of getting a whole marathon of injuries that can adversely affect tactical knowledge of the coaches.

Objectively speaking, clubs from Germany and Spain (in the tournament, the recall of those left Leipzig, Bayern, real, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid) gets a certain head start over the others. In the Bundesliga the season is over at the end of June, and in La Liga last matches the teams will play on July 19. So the Germans and the Spaniards will have the opportunity during the month slowly, purposefully and most importantly, to prepare for the resumption of the knockout stages of the Champions League. In addition to training they will be able to organize friendlies, and use all the range of possibilities, but most importantly, their schedule is almost habitual for the duration of the summer between the games in official tournaments pause. And this is what deprived the teams from France, England (Premier League finishes on 26 July) and Italy (Serie a ends 2 August).

There is an incredible imbalance that the coaches will somehow have to get along. For this reason, whoever wins the current Champions League, meticulous descendants, who decades later would delve into the annals of history, will be able to put next to the name of this club fat asterisk – sort of a sign of injustice and lack of sporting principles.

Of course, UEFA cares about sponsorship contracts, but obviously the Champions League is not the tournament, which systematically depends on all of continental football. The national League give the answer who will play in the European competitions in the future, but because of their logical completing a priority, but this cannot be said about the Champions League. To bring its drawing to the end only need to minimize economic losses. Actually, this is a key theme of UEFA, not cool. On the other hand, officials of the organization to live with the consequences of their decisions – before they banned the holding of matches between Atalanta and Valencia, which according to many analysts contributed to the outbreaks in Italy and Spain foci of infection of the coronavirus, now doing everything to bring the season to its logical, they feel complete. As always in such situations, the correctness of one view or the other will determine the course of history. Meanwhile, recall that by now the pandemic’s victims of coronavirus, according to the world health organization, the world began more than 550 thousand people…

Alexey SLEPCHENKO

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