By Duncan Mlanjira
After the German Bundesliga resumed their league matches last month, three other major European leagues — the English Premier League, the Spanish La Liga and the Italian Serie A are now set to follow suit.
The English Premiership, which Malawians closely follow live through SuperSport on DStv and GOtv, will resume next week with two catch-up fixtures — Manchester City v Arsenal and Aston Villa v Sheffield United — on Wednesday, June 17.
The next first full round of fixtures will start running from Friday to Monday, June 19-22.
All eyes will be on leaders Liverpool, who only need two more wins in order to be crowned 2019/2020 champions, their first top-flight championship in 30 years.
Their first game back will be away to Everton (with the match possibly set to be played at a neutral venue) — and depending on the result of Manchester City’s earlier matches, the Reds could clinch the title with victory against their cross-town rivals.
Once the title is wrapped up, English Premiership’s next course is who will be in the Champions League.
According to the BBC, as things stand, Manchester City cannot compete in Europe’s premier club competition for the next two seasons after being banned for breaking financial fair play rules.
But City have appealed and could still compete if the ban is overturned but if the ban is upheld, whoever finishes fifth will take their place in next season’s Champions League.
Manchester United currently occupy that position (on 45 points), but Wolves and Sheffield United are both just two points behind and will undoubtedly have their eye on securing an unlikely place alongside Europe’s elite.
Tottenham, in eighth and four points off fifth, and Arsenal, five points off with a game in hand, will also fancy their chances of pinching the position,” said the BBC report.
As things are slowly starting to get back to normal around the world and as the amount of live action will increase significantly, MultiChoice Malawi Managing Director, Gus Banda said in a statement June comes with great news for DStv and GOtv customers who are sport fanatics.
“Recent world events have seen the curtailment of live sport around the globe, and even as we commit to maintain the entertainment with the chance to ‘ReLive’ classic matches, documentaries and the greatest sports films of all time, we know that nothing beats real time sports action.
“So we welcome the return of live sports to our screens and we will hit the ground running,” he said.
The Spanish La Liga is the first to return to SuperSport screens on Thursday evening, June 11 with the Seville derby of Sevilla v Real Betis.
A further nine fixtures to complete a full round will be played over the weekend of June 12-14.
La Liga’s resumption sees the titanic title tussle between Barcelona and Real Madrid come back into focus, with just two points separating the teams at the top of the log.
Real appear to have more momentum behind them, having beaten Barca in Madrid in early March before the league was suspended, but the break has since allowed the Catalans to regroup and recover from a major spate of injuries.
Italy’s Serie A will also resume on the weekend of June 19-21 June, and brings with it one of the most thrilling title races anywhere in Europe.
Champions Juventus hold a one-point lead over nearest chasers Lazio, who have become one of the most entertaining and effective teams in the Italian top flight.
Internazionale are also on the fringes of the title race and could bring themselves back into contention if they win their game in hand.
According to MultiChoice, football is not the only sport which will be returning live to SuperSport as rugby too makes a comeback as well as golf’s PGA Tour through the Charles Schwab Challenge from Thursday to Sunday (June 11 to 14).
The International Athletics Associations (IAAF) Athletics is back on the calendar with the Oslo Impossible Games on Thursday, 11 June.
“SuperSport remains customers best choice for all the top action from around the world and will be the first and best source of entertainment for when sporting codes return to fields, tracks and rings around the world,” said Gus Banda.
According to the BBC, with social distancing rules in place, no fans in the stadiums and the possibility of being able to make five substitutions, it will be a very different football to the one people enjoyed before the suspension, but it will at least allow the 2019-20 campaign to be completed.
Liverpool are, of course, on the verge of winning a first top-flight title in 30 years.
Just two more wins will do the job for Liverpool, although they could seal the title in their first game back if Manchester City lose at home to Arsenal on 17 June.