Turkmenistan resumes football league with 500 in attendance
Turkmenistan became the first country to lift the ban on football as the domestic league hosted its first match with spectators in attendance last Sunday. Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, all the football leagues around the world (except Belarus) were suspended for an indefinite period.
Turkmenistan’s domestic league match between Altyn Asyr and Kopetdag attracted 500-odd spectators inside a 20,000 capacity national stadium in Ashgabat, as reported by NDTV. The match ended 1-1, but most importantly it ended the football draught which had struck hard following the coronavrius outbreak.
The last match in the Yokary League prior to Sunday’s fixture was back on March 20. The league was officially suspended four days later after the worldwide recommendations made by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Fortunately, Turkmenistan is one of the few countries in the world not to have recorded any recent cases of coronavirus, which gave them a go ahead with the resumption of the eight-team league.
Apart from Turkmenistan, there are a handful of countries where football is being played in the current crisis situation. Belarus, Tajikistan, Taiwan and, Nicaragua are some of the countries where football hasn’t been affected too much due to the pandemic. West European countries like France, Spain and, England have taken a huge blow due to the virus outbreak and recorded several deaths over the span of a month.
The Italian Serie A was one of the first leagues to be suspended, with the rest following the footsteps later on. The decision was taken in the aftermath of the Champions League match between Atalanta and Valencia in Milan, back in February, where a total of 40,000 people are believed to have been affected by the coronavirus.