Rescheduled 2020 football calendar could cause disruption into 2021

The return of behind closed doors La Liga football in June ensured a first league title for Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid since 2017.

Champions League and Europa League matches will be concluded before the end of August, albeit as part of restructured competition, in Germany and Portugal respectively.

However, despite a focused push to end the majority of domestic and continental campaigns across Europe, disruption into the 2020-21 season is inevitable due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

La Liga have confirmed they will return to action on September 12, but delays to the qualifying rounds of all European club competitions will have a knock on effect for the groups stages.

Despite the start dates for the majority of domestic seasons being moved into mid September, a fixture pile up will be a real concern for clubs including Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

International football has also been impacted by the ongoing global health crisis, with the European Championships moved from 2020 to 2021.

This has delayed the play-offs for the competition, with Luis Enrique’s Spain still unclear on their final group stage opponent in next summer’s competition.

The debate over the safe return of fans into stadiums will also continue in the coming months, despite La Liga president Javier Tebas’ optimism on the staggered return of supporters in 2020.

With the constantly evolving public health guidelines, making plans remains difficult for clubs, supporters and players, with contrasting advice from country to country in recent weeks.

However, despite the focus on football, other major sports have been subject to change and disruption, with tournaments across the sporting calendar altered.

Cricket has been rocked by the impact of the pandemic, with the need for regular international travel an essential factor in certain competitions.

The 2020 Indian Premier League has been hit by three separate delays, after being moved from its original starting date of March 29 into April, and then further on into September.

However, with the tournament dates now confirmed as September 19 to November 20 in the United Arab Emirates, you can check out the best IPL 2020 Betting Odds.

Confirmation of this competition going ahead provides a real boost for both cricket and sports fans, but most pragmatic supporters will be aware that even the firmest commitments are still subject to change.

The multi city structure of next summer’s European Championships appear the most likely to be amended, with the ability to travel freely without restrictions between 12 countries unlikely to be a genuine possibility until potentially 2022.