European soccer is starting to trickle back to play. Bundesliga in Germany resumed over the weekend in empty venues. We aren’t precisely sure when the English Premier League will be back, but it sounds like they are targeting sometime in June.
Today, the EPL announced that six players have tested positive for coronavirus, out of 748 tested players. Part of the league’s statement about the positive tests said, “Players or club staff who have tested positive will now self-isolate for a period of seven days.”
This is interesting on a couple of counts:
1) There’s been a an oft-repeated question about what leagues will do about positive tests when they happen. UFC isolated a fighter and two cornermen who tested positive for their first event back. Now EPL is doing the same. Bottom line: Positive tests are not stopping the aggregate momentum of returning.
2) Anecdotally, the standard has seemed to be an isolation period of two weeks before now. Potentially cutting a week off that stretch could make a gigantic difference if that becomes the new normal when sports like the NBA and MLB return — and football later.
It will be interesting to monitor what happens with the players when this initial seven-day self-isolation expires.