Football in most parts of the world has been at a standstill for virtually 3 months now due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
With the virus continuing to proliferate, some professional leagues in the world are gearing up for a return to action. Some have been truncated, others annulled and the rest are yet to make a definite decision.
We take a look at the state of play in all European leagues:
The German league was the first top European league to resume action amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga resumed on May 16. Games are being played under strict health protocols, with no fans allowed in stadiums.
The German Cup semi-finals will be played on June 9 and 10, with the final scheduled for July 4.
The Premier League is set to resume on Wednesday June 17 with Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City v Arsenal.
A full round of fixtures would then be played on the weekend of 19-21 June.
All matches will take place behind closed doors. Some fixtures will also be moved to neutral venues.
The return date for the EFL Championship, League One and League Two is yet to be decided. The National league, all amateur leagues and the women’s league have been annulled.
The FA cup quarter-finals will take place over the weekend of 27-28 June. The semi-finals will be played on July 11 and 12. The final is scheduled for 1 August.
The Spanish La Liga will resume on Thursday 11 June when Real Betis face Sevilla in the Seville Derby.
The remaining round of fixtures would then be played on the weekend of 13-14 June.
The Segunda Division, Spain’s second tier has also been cleared to resume on the same date.
The date for the Copa Del Rey final is yet to be decided.
The Italian Seria A will return on Saturday June 20. The four postponed games from the 25th round will be completed, Atalanta vs. Sassuolo, Hellas Verona vs. Cagliari, Inter Milan vs. Sampdoria, Torino vs. Parma.
The games will be played on the weekend of June 20-21, and schedule the next round of matches in the following week.
Seria B will also resume the same day the Seria A returns.
But before the resumption of the league, the Copa Italia will be completed. The semi-final return leg matches between Inter Milan and Napoli and AC Milan and Juventus, could be played on June 13-14 with the final on June 17.
The 2019/20 French Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 season was called off by the government. Paris St Germain were crowned champions.
Amiens and Toulouse were relegated, Olympique Lyonnais also missed out on European spot. All 3 teams have threatened to initiate legal action.
Lorient and RC Lens have earned promotion to play in Ligue 1 next season.
The Final of the Coupe de la Ligue will be played on August 1, whiles the Final of the Coupe de France will be played on August 8.
OTHER NOTABLE EUROPEAN LEAGUES
The Dutch Eredivisie season has been annulled.
First placed team Ajax qualify directly to the play-offs of the Champions League, AZ Alkmaar will play in the second qualifying round, while third-placed Feyenoord will go straight into the group stage of the Europa League with PSV and Willem II qualifying for the second qualifying round for the competition.
There will also be no promotion to the Dutch Eredivisie or relegation from the top flight
The Belgian Pro League became the first major European league to be cancelled because of coronavirus on 15 April.
Club Brugge who were 15 points ahead of KAA Gent were declared champions.
There was one match of the regular season remaining when the league was suspended, with relegation and play-off decisions still contestable.
Portugal’s Primeira Liga will resume on 3 June, with Portimonense against Gil Vicente and Famalicao hosting leaders Porto.
Nacional and Farense have been promoted to Portugal’s top-flight after it was decided the Segunda Division campaign would be ended. Piedada and Casa Pia have been relegated from the Segunda Division.
The Russian league will resume on June 21. Spectators will be allowed if they don’t exceed 10% of the stadium’s capacity. Five substitutions will be allowed per match.
Turkey’s Super Lig will return on Friday June 12 with Fenerbahce vs Kayserispor and Goztepe vs Trabzonspor.
The 2019/20 Scottish Premiership league season was truncated, Celtic were crowned champions for the ninth successive season.
Hearts were relegated to the Championship for the second time since 2014.
The Ukraine Premier league returned to action on Saturday May 30 in empty stadiums.
The Greek Super League will resume on June 6 with a different format. The league will be concluded in play-offs format and only six teams, namely Olympiacos, PAOK, AEK Athens, Panathinaikos, OFI Crete and Aris Saloniki qualified.
Denmark’s Superliga resumed on May 28 with Aarhus and Randers playing out a 1-1 draw in an empty stadium.
The Israeli premier league resumed on May 30, 3 games were played with table toppers Maccabi Tel Aviv beating Hapoel Haifa 2-0, fans were not allowed.
The top two divisions of the Swedish league have been given the go-ahead to start their seasons on June 14.
According to reports, Swiss league will start on June 30th.
Croatia’s domestic season will resume with cup ties on May 30 followed by league action on June 6
The Austrian Bundesliga will resume on June 2 with matches played every three days.
The Austrian Cup final was played on May 29 with Red Bull Salzburg defeating Austria Lustenau.
The Czech Republic league resumed on May 23 with Teplice defeating Slovan Liberec 2-0.
Norway Elisteserien league will resume on June 16.
The first six matchdays will reportedly be played in group stages with returns legs. The groups were put together considering regional aspects. As a result, long-distance travelling will be avoided. Fans won’t be allowed inside stadiums.
Serbia’s first and second division will resume on May 30 behind closed doors in a changed format.
The decision means the top two tiers comprising 16 clubs each will play another four rounds of matches to complete the regular season, while championship and relegation playoffs requiring an additional seven rounds were scrapped.
Belarus was the only country in Europe playing soccer amid the coronavirus pandemic. Fans were allowed inside stadiums.
Albania – Resuming on June 3
Andorra – Yet to be decided
Armenia – Resumed on May 23
Azerbaijan – Yet to be decided
Bosnia – June 13
Bulgaria – June 5
Cyprus – Season called off
Estonia – May 19
Faroe Island – May 9
Finland – July 1
Georgia – Not decided
Gibraltar – Called off
Hungary – Returned May 23
Iceland – Delayed Campaign begins on June 14
Ireland – August 14
Kazakhstan – Season will resume but no definite date
Kosovo – Not decided
Latvia – June 15
Lithuania – Resumed May 30
Luxembourg – Season abandoned
Malta – Season truncated, Floriana have been crowned champions.
Moldova – Not decided
Montenegro – June 1
North Macedonia – Not decided
Northern Ireland – Not decided
Poland – Resumed May 29
Romania – June 13
San Marino – Not decided
Slovakia – June 13
Slovenia – June 5
Wales – Season truncated, Connah’s Quay Nomads declared champions
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE AND EUROPA LEAGUE
UEFA is set to stage a meeting on June 17 in order to try and work out a plan to finish the Champions League and Europa League.
Given the congested schedules adopted by the major leagues in order to finish their domestic campaigns, it is almost certain that the Champions League and Europa League would return after league seasons have finished.
There are also reports that the Champions league final could be moved away from Istanbul, with Lisbon been touted as a potential option.