Earlier this week, we got the fantastic news that the Bundesliga will return in the middle of the month, and it was made official by announcing that the Revierderby between Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04 will kick off the resumption on May 16th. This is a terrific step in getting to see top sports leagues reemerge from the COVID-19 crisis and the quarantine that has defined our lives for the last two months. But how will this inform how other big leagues around the world handle this challenge?
Staying in Europe, it seems like, while Germany’s Bundesliga is the first, it won’t be the last. Spain’s La Liga, for one, is shooting for a June 12th restart and all players were called back to their clubs during this week to undergo testing. Also, Italy’s Serie A already has restarted training, so while they haven’t made a formal announcement about a target relaunch date, it seems that they’re moving in that direction.
It’s very encouraging to see the two hardest-hit European countries trending towards a restart of their soccer leagues, but England’s Premier League seems to be lagging behind. There’s a lot of mixed messaging, with some people saying that they’re putting plans together while others are saying that they’re still a ways off from taking that step. Additionally, no Premier League squads have returned to practice, so it’s telling since they haven’t even taken that first crucial step.
Regardless, I think that seeing the Bundesliga return is an encouraging sign to the rest of the world that this step of beginning a return to normalcy is possible. I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out in the United States, but it remains to be seen how well it can be pulled off stateside.