Sportsbooks around Europe are poised to take a hit in revenue this weekend as the majority of major sporting events have been postponed.
As the coronavirus outbreak sweeps the globe, government ministers in individual countries in Europe have called time on a number of events amid criticism that corporate interests were being put before public health and wellbeing, particularly of the most vulnerable in society.
The English Football Premier League, one of Europe’s largest football competitions was one of the last to make the decision to postpone matches this weekend.
Richard Masters, Premier League chief executive commented on the decision:
“In this unprecedented situation, we are working closely with our clubs, government, the FA and EFL and can reassure everyone the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority.”
The English Football League also followed suit, and a spokesperson for the association explained the reasons why:
“This decision has not been taken lightly, but the EFL must prioritise the health and well-being of players, staff and supporters while also acknowledging the government’s national efforts in tackling this outbreak.”
Italian Government Minister For Sport Vincenzo Spadafora also commented on the crisis in Italy, one of the worst nations to suffer the coronavirus outbreak in Europe:
“Many sports autonomously decided to stop due to the Coronavirus emergency and my thanks go out to them. Football is a world in itself though and there was a time when the Lega Serie A did not want to take responsibility that they should have. There are now some Coronavirus positive players and we would have ultimately preferred for Serie A to stop earlier but it is better late than never.”
When asked when people can expect operations to resume Spadafora added:
“The doctors will tell us that at the end of the month or at the beginning of April. We will have to see the results of all these sacrificial actions we are asking people to make. If things improve, as well all hope, in the following weeks we will be able to resume an almost normal life.”