COVID-19 crisis: Further countries closing stadiums

source:; author: michał

COVID-19 crisis: Further countries closing stadiums Bulgaria, Romania, Poland and Slovakia join the list of countries where stadiums have to remain empty, while further Champions League games are scheduled to take place without spectators.


When we last looked on the COVID-19 stadium front, Italy was the only European country to hold games behind closed doors. Though only a week has passed, the death toll in Italy quadrupled and the country is now in complete lockdown, following nearly 100 deaths over the last three days.

As the lockdown in Italy was being announced, Slovakia introduced its 14-day ban on all mass events, including football games. Similar steps were taken in Romania (indefinite) and Bulgaria (at least two rounds). Today before noon Poland joined with similar steps, banning spectators from all sporting and cultural events until further notice.

Camp Nou

The situation is very dynamic and there have been signals from Premier League and NBA that suggest empty stands are being considered, though not decided upon just yet. Aside from Italy and Switzerland (league postponed), all major European leagues are still playing, though France saw the first game postponed this weekend.

As for Champions League, already three games schduled for this week were confirmed as ghost games, hosted by Paris-Saint Germain, Barcelona and Valencia.

Further uncertainty surrounds megatournaments planned for this year. Euro 2020 is potentially under threat of rescheduling, as are the Tokyo Olympics. Similar fears arise for next month's African Nations Championship in Cameroon, where the first case of COVID-19 was recently confirmed.