The ongoing pandemic has led to the suspension of almost every live sport in every country. Every sport around the world is feeling the effects of the pandemic, from major events like the EURO 2020 (that’s now EURO 2021) and the 2020 Summer Olympics (also postponed by a year), from full-contact fighting and motor racing to the most bizarre sports around the world. Football is among the hardest-hit sports, with the Belarus league being the only one that still holds matches – it’s barely any consolation for football fans. The news about the pandemic is not encouraging, unfortunately, with no way of knowing when the lockdown will end. And this means, there’s no way of knowing when the leagues that have suspended their matches to prevent the spread of the virus will be able to continue their games.
The consequences of these suspensions are further-reaching than those of a suspended fight – they affect the European Championship and the Champions League, too. So, every top-flight league in Europe is working on scenarios on how they will conclude this year – La Liga is not an exception. Let’s take a look at the possible scenarios on how it may crown a champion in 2020.
Calling it a season – early
There are two ways in which the fate of the season can be decided based on the results of the matches so far. Either the results of all the matches can be taken into account (which would be unjust, considering that not all teams had the chance to play all their matches) or those until the halfway point of the season. In both cases, Barcelona would be declared champions.
In the first case, Real Madrid, Sevilla, and Real Sociedad would represent Spain at the Champions League, Getafe and Atlético would qualify for the Europa League, and Mallorca, Leganés, and Espanyol would be relegated. In the second case, the situation would be similar, with Sevilla instead of Getafe proceeding to the Europa League.
Apparently, though, this is not something the league’s leadership would like to consider at this point.
Delayed but completed
Playing the remaining matches at a later date would be the alternative the fans would certainly prefer. The remaining games in the calendar can be played in the summer (if the health authorities decide to ease the restrictions enough for the matches – even without spectators – to take place). According to La Liga chief Javier Tebas, the matches could return either by the end of May or the end of June at the latest, with the conclusion of the league in August.
Void – not an option
When asked about the possibility of declaring the season void, Tebas’ response was clear: this is not an option. “We are not considering that. It is something that will be studied only at the point at which it absolutely has to be. I do not wish to start the debate now because it is pointless and only generates a conflict of interest,” he told the press.
It seems that, no matter how long it takes, Tebas is determined to see the league through. This is great news for the fans and for the clubs, too, which already lost a great deal of money over the suspended matches.