The return of football activity … great risks for players and clubs

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The major European leagues in football aspire to revitalize themselves as soon as possible to avoid a financial disaster caused by the emerging Corona virus, but coaches and physical specialists warn that rushing to do so will put players at risk of injuries, and clubs in an unequal position.And the spread of «Covid-19» imposed almost complete paralysis in various sports activities around the world. The epidemic, which by Tuesday caused more than 75,000 reported deaths worldwide, has suspended football matches in most countries. And with this pause continuing without a specific date to end it, some clubs started to resume group exercises, especially in Germany, which is less affected by the epidemic than others. Bayern Munich champions Bayern Munich in the last seven seasons, announced the resumption of his exercises on Monday, but with the adoption of strict health measures. As for most clubs, they still rely on individual or group home exercises via video technology, in light of the wide restrictions imposed on movement and movement in various countries in an effort to reduce the spread of «Covid-19». The biggest question currently remains, is the time it takes for players to regain their physical fitness and ability to compete in competitive matches, especially after a layoff that is approaching the completion of a full month.
“It depends on how long they have been quarantined,” said Spaniard Juanjo de Ojo, fitness coach at French club Monaco. If it extends five or six weeks, we will need at least three weeks before confirming the possibility of returning to competition and reducing the risk of injury. On the other hand, the Frenchman Xavier Frieza, a fitness coach who supervises a number of French professionals, considers that “the players have never experienced a similar thing in their lives.” A pro player takes only three to four weeks in the summer, yet many of them do light exercises during this period. He continued, “The (pause) two months will be very strange for them.”
Okho stresses the need for a certain number of days of group training before the resumption of competitions, stating that «some studies have shown a relationship between the number of full training sessions before the resumption of competitions and reducing the risk of injuries».
The self-discipline of players during the period of home quarantine will be an important factor with the return of exercises. Those who have managed to stay fit and avoid gaining extra weight will be in better shape than those who failed to do so. The risks will increase with the extension of the stone period, as players will have to deal with intense pressure for matches in the event of completing the competitions, and a greater number of them will play locally and continental in a shorter time than usual.

A big difference
This fact raises questions about whether clubs that are able to resume exercises ahead of others will enjoy a differential advantage over clubs whose players have had to stay in stone for a longer period. “One week, when you don’t have three weeks of preparations, makes a big difference, physically and technically,” says Frieza. The Italian Carlo Ancelotti, coach of English club Everton, raised this issue in an interview with the French newspaper “L’Equipe” last week.
Ancelotti (60 years), who won the league title in France, Italy, Germany and England, in addition to three Champions League titles, said that «one of the most important things is that the clubs resume training at the same time without any discrimination, so that none of them get a priority At the expense of the other. He continued, “The players at the present time can be in physical fitness within two weeks.”
German clubs pose the question after the League recommended that the exercises be suspended until April 5, regardless of the full closure measures that differ between provinces across the country. Thomas Rutgermann, sports director of Fortuna Dusseldorf, said that “the decision to allow or not group exercises should be at a national level, to ensure equal opportunities when the competition resumes.” In the eastern province of Saxony, where no full closures are imposed, third-ranked Leipzig continued their training on the field, but without physical contact. “My players haven’t lost much of their physical fitness,” said coach Julian Nagelsman. “They will regain their full fitness in one and a half or two weeks.” Former Dortmund commander Sebastian Kehl warned against recording some “crazy” results in the Bundesliga when competitions resume. He explained in statements to the German magazine “Kicker” published last Monday: “My assessment is that the results will be more unpredictable, there will be movements in the ranking table with the registration of one or two surprises.”





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