The coronavirus pandemic hit the world hard, and in certain sectors it was even more pronounced than others. Football and other close contact sports struggled, and it is only really now – nearing the end of 2021 – that things are starting to get back to normal. There is no doubt that Liverpool have found things tough, and we’re here to take a look at exactly how things happened with them.
Right at the start
In March 2020, Liverpool played in the Champions League against Atlético Madrid. The match was held at Anfield, and the team were ultimately defeated. However, the leading story from that match was not the football, but rather the rises in coronavirus cases that the away fans caused, by travelling from Europe, where the virus was already rife. This lead to discussions about whether sport and travel should really be allowed to continue, and it was one of the first events that really showed us that the virus was here, and that it meant business.
The decision to stop play
Across Europe, the other top football leagues had already made the decision to stop playing by the time the same decision was taken in the UK. This is largely due to the fact that the virus spread across the rest of Europe before the UK, however eventually, on March 13th 2020, the English Premier League was suspended, bringing them in line with the rest of Europe.
Keeping fit over lockdown
Although the sport was only supposed to be suspended for 3 weeks, as with the rest of the lockdown measures in the UK, it lasted a lot longer than this, with no football at all for a total of 3 months. This meant that the players were unable to meet in person for training and instead took to running and taking part in exercise sessions over Zoom. Although not ideal, there was a sense of togetherness that helped the team get through it.
Easing back into training
When the day finally came to start back at training, there were three phases. In the first phase, training remained non-contact in just small groups of players. Phase two brought back contact training for the whole squad, and finally in phase three players were able to use the facilities at the club and get back to normal. Testing was used throughout, and still is, to ensure that any cases are picked up on as soon as possible.
The big restart
For Liverpool, June 21st, 2020 brought the first game since lockdown. Although there were no fans at the game, and the result wasn’t as they may have hoped for, the game was a key moment for the sport, with a very real sign that things could get back to normal. Indeed, that season Liverpool were able to claim the Premier League Champions title. This shows that not only did they manage to make it through the pandemic, but they also thrived. There may still be challenges facing all of us when it comes to the ongoing global situation, however, you can be sure that sport is on its way back, and will continue to entertain us for many years to come. For all the Liverpool FC fans out there, head over to OlyBet for an excellent sports betting experience.