EuroLeague season might be four coronavirus cases away from being forfeited

2020-03-13T12:03:40+00:00 2020-03-14T18:57:13+00:00.

Aris Barkas

13/Mar/20 12:03

The danger is real and the scenario of never having a complete 2019-20 EuroLeague season is more than possible.

By Aris Barkas and Nikos Varlas/,

In theory, the 2019-20 EuroLeague still has time to be concluded. However, it’s a big question mark at this point if this can be possible with ten weeks left until the initial date of 2020 Final Four.

So far, Lanxess Arena in Cologne has canceled all events until the 3rd of April, but that’s just a footnote. EuroLeague is not examining so far the issue of relocating the Final Four, and that seems to be the least of the problems.

With the coronavirus medical protocols from the World Health Organization asking for a 14 days quarantine in every high-risk case, Real Madrid has already entered a quarantine which will end on the 25th of March. Milan, as the club announced, has also entered a similar quarantine because they played against Real Madrid two rounds ago, and LDLC ASVEL should be treated the same after playing Madrid last week.

Both the Italian and the French team will exit the quarantine before Real Madrid.

Taking into account the current outbreak of the virus, it’s more than possible to have more cases documented. For each case inside a team, a quarantine of 14 days will be imposed, and it’s naive to think that there will be no more cases at the end of March and at the beginning of April.

Practically every new case means two more weeks of quarantine, which will prevent the season from restarting. Two weeks are already lost after Real Madrid’s announcement about a case positive to Covid-19 in the team.

At this point, the best – and highly improbable – scenario is to have eight weeks until the Final Four to hold the remaining six regular-season rounds and the playoffs.

With each new Covid-19 case inside the EuroLeague teams, and that includes not only players and coaches but all team personnel, the time frame for concluding the season will get smaller and smaller.

No one can predict at this point how things will turn out, and there will be hope for the season to continue until the start of April, however, the odds are against everyone. We have to wait at least until then, even if the possibility of not watching another EuroLeague game this season is real. If that happens, for the first time in the history of the competition, a season with 28 rounds already played will be canceled and will not be considered complete.

Everyone’s wish is for the best-case scenario to become a reality and to have time for the EuroLeague to complete the season, even with fewer games probably without fans until the Final Four. Today, this scenario seems improbable. In light of the coronavirus pandemic and human life, however, professional sports are taking a backseat.