Liverpool May Forfeit UEFA Champions League Match
The latest victim of the coronavirus may be Liverpool’s UEFA Champions away match against Danish club FC Midtjylland. The cause that could lead to this unprecedented action is the discovery of a new, more virulent strain of COVID-19 on Danish mink farms. The outbreak began among the minks and has since spread to humans. Denmark is the second-largest exporter of mink fur in the world.
The fear is that if this new strain of the virus were to reach other parts of the world, it could severely impact progress that’s been made by scientists and pharmaceutical companies currently working toward developing a COVID-19 vaccine.
This discovery has resulted in the introduction of much stricter public health protocols within the northern part of Denmark. More than 250,000 Danes were placed in lockdown as of last Friday and everyone in that region is being urged by government officials to get a COVID-19 test.
Other European nations, including the United Kingdom have responded to the situation by imposing harsh restrictions on anyone travelling to Denmark. These restrictions might seriously impact football betting options on upcoming matches that involve both Liverpool and England.
Travel restrictions imposed Nov. 7 require that anyone returning from Denmark must self-isolate for two weeks when they get back to Britain. That would mean if Liverpool did travel to FC Midtjylland for their Dec. 9 UEFA Champions League group stage tie, all in the travelling party would be forced to self-isolate for two weeks upon returning home, making every one of them ineligible to play in any matches scheduled during that time period.
Those restrictions have been previously waived for elite sportsmen and sportswomen since the return of competitions. Due to the serious nature of the outbreak in Denmark, that will not be the case in this instance. These restrictions will be reviewed again in a week’s time.
The outbreak originated in the Danish town of North Jutland. Midtjylland is just 40 miles south of North Jutland.
Issue May Not Be In Doubt
Liverpool defeated FC Midtjylland 2-0 on Oct. 27 at Anfield. The Reds currently sit atop Group D of the Champions League, taking the maximum nine points from their three matches. They are five points clear of both Ajax and Atalanta.
With home matches upcoming against Atalanta (Nov. 25) and Ajax (Dec. 1), Liverpool may have already clinched top spot in the group, rendering the outcome of the match at FC Midtjylland meaningless in terms of the standings.
If that proves to be the case and the current restrictions remain in place on Dec. 9, forfeiture might be Liverpool’s best option.
“Arsenal vs Liverpool” by wonker is licensed under CC BY 2.0
England-Iceland Match In Jeopardy
England are to face Iceland at Wembley Nov. 18 in a UEFA Nations League clash at Wembley. That match is scheduled just three days after Iceland are to play at Demark, which is raising concerns whether it will be able to come off at all. Current restrictions prohibit entrance into the UK for any non-resident who has visited Denmark during the previous 14 days.
As well, Premier League clubs are refusing to release players to travel to Denmark for the Iceland-Denmark match. Among those affected are Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester), Tottenham’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Tottenham), Andreas Christensen (Chelsea), Jannik Vestergaard (Southampton), Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford), Mathias Jensen (Brentford) and Jonas Lössl (Everton).
FIFA issued a ruling at the outset of the pandemic that permits clubs to withdraw their players from international duty if there is a risk of coronavirus infection.
“It is politics,” Schmeichel told the Daily Mail. “I don’t think it has a lot to do with science. The government has made a decision for now and I hope they come to their senses.
“We are very protected, we are in a bubble, we get tested all the time.”
Klopp Lashes Out At Schedule Makers
His side already riddled with injury, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp took the schedule makers to task when he spoke with the media following their 1-1 draw with Manchester City on Sunday.
“Usually in the season we all have an October, November and then a very, very tricky December,” Klopp said. “This year, the October is like a December, the November is like the December and December is still like a December.
“We want to play football with all we have, it is great, but Wednesday night and 12.30 [on a Saturday] should not be allowed.”