It’s been one of the hottest talking points of recent times, with a situation that you could suggest is out of a football club’s hands and one that has been potentially used as a way to gain an unfair advantage. Of course, we’re talking about the postponement of fixtures in the football world.
The situation around the world, which is now beginning to improve, has led to clubs reporting multiple positive tests, which forces contacts into isolation. And, when this happens in significant numbers, as we have seen over the last several months primarily, it results in requests to postpone fixtures. There have been occasions where teams have been forced into not playing consecutive fixtures, be it because they have an issue in their camp or their opponents are the ones dealing with an ongoing situation. But, of course, this has led to claims that some teams have worked things to their advantage, considering that many are missing players due to injury and the African Cup of Nations too.
The backlog of fixtures presents multiple problems to teams, leagues and the wider footballing world. For example, through no fault of their own, some clubs must play rearranged fixtures that have been shoehorned into their schedule, even though they themselves have not been forced to request the postponement of fixtures.
Playing up to three fixtures in seven days to get the footballing calendar back in order will prove problematic for many, as players will be more prone to injury and fatigue. And this can and will naturally have an impact on form. It could very much be the difference between success and failure.
All of the above has a knock-on effect elsewhere too. For example, having a bet with your favourite sportsbook is no longer straightforward. Yes, you may fancy your team to win, but if they’ve been playing extra fixtures or had a period of absence, it can lead to shock results. In addition, form is likely to be patchy and up and down, making betting on fixtures a more demanding and potentially less enjoyable activity.
And then there are the fans. Even if they have seasons tickets, it doesn’t cover the cost of travel, tickets for away fixtures, expenditure for food and drinks, etc. Of course, many will budget for this naturally throughout a footballing campaign, but they could be forced to find extra funds due to multiple games being played over a short period of time.
After weeks of continued disruption, the footballing authorities have acted to attempt to gain better control over the situation. For example, there is now a higher threshold in place if teams make an official request to postpone a fixture, which is what many have been calling for recently. Ultimately, it should mean that moving forward, regardless of the situation, there should be minimal cancellations and fewer rearranged fixtures as a result, which will be music to the ears of many.