Vissel Kobe star and Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta has confessed that getting back to playing football will be a lot harder than letting it go. The Spanish midfielder currently plys his trade in Japan and is amongst many other footballers who’ve had to watch as their league seasons were suspended.
While that was done to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic across the world, it has certainly affected many sides. Not just in Europe but across the globe with football teams struggling to balance their books without matchday or broadcasting income. Furthermore, that has had a domino effect on clubs with them now on the verge of bankruptcy. While wage cuts and deferrals help, not every league in the world has managed to get players to slash their wages.
But that has been the problem across the world and Andres Iniesta is off the same opionon. The former Barcelona and Spain midfielder, who currently plays for J-League side Vissel Kobe, admitted that he has found time during this virus rather difficult. The Spaniard also admitted that it will be really difficult for league seasons across the world to finish as radical changes have to be made.
“Viruses, and this virus in particular, is a bit unpredictable. You ask yourself when can we get back to normal life? When can we leave our homes? When can we give each other a hug? We don’t know if the weather improving will mean the virus is reduced like any other virus or the flu, if a vaccine will be found? All those things are up in the air,” Iniesta told the Guardian.
“I don’t want to be dramatic but you can see it’s going to be really difficult for this [season] to be completed,” he adds. “Hopefully there will be a turnaround and everything changes radically for the better, but getting back to playing looks difficult now.”
With the league season suspended the call has been for many to render the season null and void, with few even asking for football associations to end the season as it stands. However, while the Premier League, alongside many others, are adamantly focused on finishing the season, the Jupiler Pro League has opted to end their season and hand over the title. But Iniesta admitted that this is a difficult situation and only tough decisions lies ahead for leagues and their governing bodies.
“I suppose there will be rules that decide [outcomes] one way or another in exceptional circumstances, but it’s a difficult situation. It must be very hard [for teams like Liverpool, who may be denied a title]. Or a second division team on the verge of being promoted, told this season is null and void, that it doesn’t count. Or, the other way round: a team in the relegation zone is saved. Pfff. I don’t know how you resolve it.
“In the short to medium-term the virus is bound to have a social and economic impact, on every level. Football is part of society; it can’t escape that. You feel a responsibility to do the right thing as a person and as someone in the public eye. This will have an impact; there will be measures that stay in place, changes, a before and after. We have to try to make the best of a terrible situation," he added.