False Start

The Italian government gave Serie A permission to begin training again individually, after publicly bickering amongst themselves for weeks. There is still no official date to begin group training, let alone to resume the season, although those decisions could be made as early as today. However, with all of the players being tested ahead of resuming training and at least three different teams having one or more players testing positive, this week’s return could turn out to be a false start.

Daniel is recovered, but is Italy?

France and the Netherlands officially cancelled their seasons already, while other leagues work to complete their seasons. The Bundesliga have been training for a few weeks now, and they are scheduled to resume their season on Friday. That has largely been seen as a symbol of hope for other leagues. However, a second division team had players test positive last week, meaning their entire team must be quarantined now for two weeks.

All of these positive test results are anything but positive for football’s return. Obviously, the health and safety of the players and everyone else are the primary concern of everyone involved. But the economy of football is also massive in Italy and elsewhere. The ability to complete this season would help restore the economies tremendously.

Whatever it takes

Then there is the mental health, not just of Italians, but fans worldwide. After such an unexpected and lengthy lockdown, football is fuel for the souls of millions worldwide. Again, physical health and safety comes first, but when making the decision to play or not, these other factors must also be weighed in.

We cannot stay home forever. Football needs to return, even if it will be strange without the fans. But any decision to play or not will be a gamble, because no one knows how this will play out. Even just by beginning such limited training, the positive tests are like a premonition in a scary movie. Is that premonition that we’re trying to start back too soon? Or, the positive tests could be the last remnants of this nightmarish interrupted season. With players being watched so closely and staying together, training and playing may actually be the safest situation for them.

Time for Serie A to return?

The scientific and medical communities have joined the government, the FIGC, and Serie A in researching all of the known possibilities to make the most informed decision. This includes where and how the games will be played to limit the travel and maximize the safety of everyone involved. However, until they meet and come to an agreement, we won’t know if the season will finish or not. Even then, no one really knows how this will play out.

Though I live halfway around the world, watching pictures and videos of the players training individually these past few days has certainly given me hope. The return of football would be one giant step in the return of some semblance of normalcy. It would give hope for a return of the economy, and above all else, it would bring much needed joy to millions of people around the world. We can only hope that this return to training is the beginning of the end, rather than just a false start.

This post inspired by the music of The Cure’s “To Wish Impossible Things”

False Start False Start Reviewed by Elaine on 11:45 PM Rating: 5
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