Football is Back

Its return may be slow, but football is back. What leagues have resumed?

Football is coming back slowly but surely. All over the world, leagues and clubs are starting to prepare a return to training and matches. Some leagues such as the K-League in South Korea and the Taiwanese league has already resumed. The latest league to restart was the Bundesliga in Germany which was seemingly a success (visit here for more details on the Bundesliga results). But what do these teams have to do to take precautions against Covid-19?

Precautionary measures that will be implemented by FIFA to protect football players.

FIFA has temporarily made several law variations to assist leagues in getting their season back underway so that it can be finished within a respectable time. The president of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, emphasised that all competitions must ensure health before anything else.

These temporary changes include amendments to Law 3 – The Players.

  • Each team is now permitted to use a maximum of 5 substitutes.
  • Each team will only have 3 opportunities to make substitutions during a match, as well as at half-time.
  • If both teams make a substitution at the same time, this will count as one of the three opportunities for each team.
  • Unused substitutions and substitution opportunities extend into extra time.
  • Where competition rules allow an additional substitution in extra time, teams will each have one additional substitution opportunity; substitutions may also be made before the start of extra time and at half-time in extra time.

These amendments aim at safety for players as there will be a large number of matches played over the next few weeks. By adding more substitutions coaches will better be able to manage their player loads. The law that gives teams only 3 opportunities to make substitutions endeavours to speed up the match time.  This, in turn, ensures the safety of players. The substitutes in the Bundesliga were seen sitting socially distanced from one another while wearing masks.

What does the return of football mean for fans?

Unfortunately for fans, they will not be allowed to attend these matches.  It is mandated that all matches be played behind closed doors and all games will only be televised. Some clubs have tried to be creative, such as Borussia Monchengladbach, whose fans have paid for cardboard cutouts of themselves to put in the stadium for their players.

Which other sports have resumed, or are set to begin again soon?

  • UFC has already resumed.
  • The New Zealand rugby union is preparing their 5 local teams for a mini Super Rugby tournament starting in June, with the label Aotearoa Super Rugby (click here for more).
  • The La Liga in Spain and Serie A in Italy have also announced that they have returned to training starting with small groups of players (more details can be found here).
  • Golf is set to begin again with the PGA Tour at the Charles Schwab Challenge on the 11th June (visit for more details)
About the Author
Gregory Gordon.
Gregory Gordon is currently a Senior Video Analyst at VS Sports, who is highly involved in the analytics process by performing the analysis as well as managing the video analysts in the company. Gregory is in charge of training the video analysts in all the sports which are offered at VS Sports as well as ensuring that the quality of the analysis is being maintained consistently. He is passionate about sport conditioning and assisting athletes in optimising their sporting abilities. Gregory has obtained his Master’s degree in Sports Science (MPhil) through the University of Johannesburg as well as acquiring a Higher Certificate in Exercise Science through the HFPA. He previously has worked at Orlando Pirates FC for an internship where many different skills were learned and developed through the process.