There are more important things than football

Football matches that were going to be played behind doors have now been suspended altogether. Two days after the whole of Italy was shut down, Spanish football, as well as basketball, has done the same – though voluntarily and without government instruction.

The decision was taken by Spanish Football Federation president, Luis Rubiales, after a call from the Spanish footballers’ union chief, David Aganzo, and came in light of the news that Real Madrid’s football and basketball teams had been placed in quarantine. LaLiga president Javier Tebas announced the suspension of the next two match weeks, estimating that’s how long it will take normality to return to Madrid. But the closure will, certainly, last longer than that.

LUIS RUBIALES

Euro 2020 should become Euro 2021

So no football in Spain, in Portugal, in the Netherlands, in Italy, in France or in England, while UEFA has now decided to stop its competitions after last night’s Europa League fixtures went ahead as scheduled. All of these suspended leagues will need more time for their conclusion. And that could only come if the Euros is postponed until 2021, which would be a wise decision. This will be the first time that the competition will be hosted by multiple countries – 12 in total – with the opening match scheduled to be played in Italy. For UEFA it means stopping a running train with a few meters of track ahead, but it will have to decide to do so.

Racing Club v Alianza Lima - Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2020A ballboy waits in the empty stands of Presidente Peron Stadium prior to a Group F match between Racing Club and Alianza Lima as part of Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2020

Contrasting situations

This has taken us all by surprise, producing very contrasting situations like the ones we witnessed yesterday in Madrid: as 2,800 euphoric Atlético fans had just landed home after crowding into Anfield together with English supporters, while at the same tie the powers behind Spanish football were closing the curtain.

But this is not the most serious thing that is happening to us right now. What is more serious is the dreaded collapse of the hospital system, which would be detrimental to those suffering from any ailment that requires urgent care. The only thing we can do now is follow the instructions that have been given to us, cross our fingers and wait for this black cloud to pass. We can live without football, but not without hospitals.