With the current COVID-19 situation Russian football has faced a multitude of problems much like other businesses throughout the country. Despite the fact that the amount of people suffering from the disease keeps on growing daily, the Russian government has decided to weaken its security measures. This means that in the nearest future life in Russia will return to its previous course. However, the ban on mass gatherings is going to be active until the end of the summer.
The decision about whether it makes sense to start restart the Russian Premier League or not was made recently by Russian Football Union. They made the decision to start the Russian Premier League with kick off scheduled for the 21st of June. This news has brought up a lot of questions and concerns about the organization of football matches in the country.
How will they play?
Originally the RFU planned to play all games will be played without spectators which given the current COVID 19 statistics in Russia, it seemed like the most logical decision. However they have since altered that plan and now will allow a small amount of spectators (10% of stadiums’ seats) to be filled. As for the structure, the remaining eight rounds will be held from June 21 to July 22 and to follow the previous schedule and complete within one month, clubs will have to play every two days. The Russian Cup is also returning on 24th of June.
Is it safe?
Russian Football Union and Russian Premier League jointly worked out a protocol for holding games, which has taken into account all the requirements of state authorities, as well as the achievements of other leagues that have decided to continue their seasons.
“The return of football will be a signal that we are on the path to restoring a familiar lifestyle,” said the RFU president Alexander Dyukov. “Football is needed for teams, coaches, players. In making this decision, we understand that the health of players and employees remains a priority for us. Not a single footballer, not a single employee was infected.”
Despite the decision being made by the RFU and RPL, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the league will restart as normal. The final decision will be made by the government only about a few elements:
1. Allow foreign players to return to Russia.
2. Development of regulations for the matches
3. Restrictions on training and competitions at the regional level
However, RFU president is sure that these small obstacles will be overcome in the nearest future and football will return to us in June.
What about transfers?
Right now, it is hard to say. First of all, many football clubs faced severe financial problems. Secondly, there are still restrictions on entry into Russia with many players still unable to get back to their clubs. In such conditions, it’s very difficult to talk about buying more foreign players. What’s more important not all Russian players got tested, which means that there are still risks of infections.
Post by Irina Kuzina, Back Of The Net Russia correspondent. Follow her now on Instagram.