Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has spoken out concerning the current state of football as a result of the spread of coronavirus. The Belgian has advocated for a scrapping of the 2019-20 football season in order to concentrate on the fight against Covid-19 and give players a chance to prepare for the next campaign. De Bruyne believes Premier League teams will be hit by an injury crisis if the 2019-20 season is suddenly continued.
Having suffered several injuries in the last two years himself, the 28-year-old is mindful of the risk of subjecting players to the ordeal. Football leagues were abruptly suspended in March due to the pandemic which has left players with little or no physical activity since. UEFA and several major leagues are currently working towards concluding the campaign whenever feasible.
That will entail returning to the pitch abruptly and playing games frequently to conclude the season in time. Doing so could be necessary in order to accommodate next season’s calendar. However, De Bruyne who is at a loss on when the game can resume, feels a quick resumption will be harmful to the players. He believes cancelling the season at this point might be the best option available in order to prepare for the next.
”I have no idea when we will be playing again. We haven’t played for six weeks,” he said in a recent interview.
”Normally you’d need a preparation of three to four weeks. If we restart immediately then everybody will be injured after a few games.
”I know that there’s lots of money involved. But I think that waiting so long to make a decision can cause issues next season.
”There won’t be a long summer break and you can just postpone everything.
”I would feel sad if the season is stopped after such a good year, but if it avoids issues for next season, it must be done.”
The Premier League announced on Friday that the initial target of resuming on April 30 was no longer feasible. That is as a result of the continuous spread of coronavirus around the world. In England the numbers have been on the increase, crossing 38,000 with more than 3000 deaths as at April 3. Yet, the situation is worse elsewhere.
The United States now leads the way as the country most affected with almost 300,000 cases, but Italy and Spain remain hotbeds of the pandemic and have recorded more fatalities. That has led to the continuous suspension of league football in most parts of the world. Some have called for an outright cancellation of the season to concentrate fully on fighting the pandemic. De Bruyne has spoken out in support of the view.
But that could also affect Man City negatively as the team is still on course to secure more silverware this term. The Blues hold a first-leg advantage over Real Madrid in the Champions League Round of 16. Who knows if this is the year the club will finally win the trophy? We could also win the FA Cup. Cancelling the season will put paid to such ambitions. Yet, De Bruyne’s position is understandable.
The Belgian top flight recently announced such a cancellation with the title awarded to Club Brugge who occupy top spot. But it’s unlikely other top leagues will follow suit, at least not yet. A lot will depend on progress made in the fight against Covid-19 between now and next month.