A remarkable chart has given insight into the extent of the current global football shutdown, as the game comes to a standstill amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
The table was posted on Twitter by General Secretary of the World Leagues Forum, Jerome Perlemuter, and subsequently picked up and shared by the likes of Gary Lineker.
The World Leagues Forum was formed in 2016 and represents the professional leagues of national football associations. At present, it has 38 members from four of FIFA’s five continental confederations.
Remarkably, every single one of those leagues is now suspended.
The last remaining competition had been Australia’s A-League, but a halt was called on Monday until at least 22 April [The Guardian].
The Scottish Premiership and English Premier League are suspended until the end of April, while major European leagues such as France’s Ligue 1 and Spain’s La Liga, are postponed for an ‘indefinite period.’
The full table, which can be seen below, shows that leagues from Algeria to Mexico and Thailand to Argentina have all been suspended for varying lengths of time.
With the Australian A-League’s announcement, all World Leagues Forum’s professional football leagues have now postponed their matches. pic.twitter.com/5g6kFg3nO9
— Jerome Perlemuter (@JPerlemuter_WLF) March 23, 2020
It’s a bleak picture which shows the severity of the pandemic.
There are isolated instances of sporting competitions continuing as normal. For example, a new Belarusian Premier League season has just begun, to the shock of former Arsenal star, Alexander Hleb.
“In Belarus, it’s like no one cares,” he said, as quoted by the Sun. “It’s incredible. Maybe in one week or two weeks we will stop here. Maybe our President is just waiting to see what happens with the virus.”
In general, though, football has rightly taken a backseat for the foreseeable as the entire world looks to combat and attempt to slow the spread of Covid-19.