While the ongoing social distancing rules and safety measures have created a lot of uncertainties in sports, different soccer leagues around the globe are still looking for ways to resurface. In South Korea and Taiwan, games have already resurfaced, though under strict health regulations. Even better, Germany’s Bundesliga came back to life several weeks ago, making it the first European league to continue with the 2024 season after breaking for several weeks.
Here are all the soccer leagues in the world currently continuing with their 2024 campaigns.
1. South Korea
Earlier this month, South Korea’s K-League announced that they would be continuing with their 2024 schedule, following in the footsteps of their neighbors, Taiwan. Since its return, the K league has been broadcasted in several countries, and negotiations are still ongoing to make the games available in more countries. So far, the games are shown live in Hong Kong and China as well as in multiple European countries.
For several weeks, the K-League has remained a few steps behind the top leagues in Europe, so it hasn’t been able to attract a massive following outside Asia. That’s because kick-off times are not kind to fans outside Asia, especially on the East Coast and the U.S. However, some games are aired at suitable times for viewers in Europe and the West Coast. Even better, Betway allows punters to place their wagers on different K-League games.
The two tiers of pro soccer in South Korea run their season all through the summer, though they couldn’t begin the 2024 campaign as earlier planned. However, several clubs took part in the Asian Champions League tournament in February before football was put on ice.
During the Asian Champions League tournaments, South Korea was already in the process of enforcing strict health measures. As such, fans were subjected to temperature checks and had to fill in health statements. Hand sanitizers were also a key requirement before entering the stadium, and fans had to wear their masks throughout the games.
A week after the South Korea K-League re-started, Germany’s Bundesliga continued with its 2024 schedule. The league was warmly welcomed by fans, with the premier league and other Europe’s top leagues observing closely to know how they’d look like if they returned. For punters at Betwaythailand.net, the return of the league has increased wagering opportunities, though the matches are continuing without fans.
Players have been maintaining the social distancing rule, with several busses used to ferry them to the venue, and they’re wearing face masks while on transit. During the games, the police have been called to make sure that no fans are gathering around the venues, with less than 250 people allowed on the grounds.
The first Bundesliga game was held on 16th March, after a two-month shutdown. Since its return, the league has been heading to the second round, with only a few games remaining before the end of the season.
Unlike Premier League’s proposals to host matches on neutral venues, Bundesliga games are played at the host team’s grounds as normal. However, these games are hosted behind closed doors, with only the press and a few officials present at the time. Fans can watch the games on B.T. Sport in the U.K., featuring every weekend match.
Currently, Bayern is leading the Bundesliga table, standing seven points ahead of the second place, Borussia Dortmund – which stands three points ahead of Leipzig. Paderborn, Werder Bremen, and Fortuna Dusseldorf are currently fighting relegation, with several games before the season ends.
3. Czech Republic
The Czech Republic was among the first countries in the world to bring back competitive soccer to T.V. screens after months of no activities. The countries’ top clubs approved plans to return to the pitch earlier this month, with the first gaming happening a few days ago. Fans are not yet allowed to gather around stadiums during the games, though sites like Betway are allowing fans to place wagers from their home’s comfort.
Currently, Slavia Prague is leading the table with 11 points, with Viktoria Plzen following by a distance at 50 points. This week, Vicktoria Plzen will go against Spata Praha in an away match, ahead of their weekend match with Mlada Boleslav. These matches will be staged on the host team’s stadium as usual, with Slavia Prague facing off Jablonec in a home match.
While most professional sports leagues in the world went on a break, Belarus was the only European country whose soccer league remained active. The country’s top tier league only postponed a single match scheduled for 15th May and a single first division game on 16th May.
Following the postponement of several sports events all over the globe, the country’s top-tier league managed to secure broadcasting rights in over ten countries. That allowed fans in several countries to watch select games live, including in Russia, India, and Israel. Additionally, the games are spread across individual timelines to allow fans to watch every match from Friday to Sunday.
After suspending all activities on 9th March, Denmark’s top division league (Super Liga) will be making a comeback this week behind closed doors. The first match in the league’s schedule after returning will feature Randers F.C. and AGF Aarhus, with the season poised to end on 26th July.
FC Midtjylland is currently holding the top position in the league, standing 12 points ahead of second-placed F.C. Copenhagen, who are the defending champions. On return, the Danish to tier league will be playing the games without any fans present in the stadium, though that’s an understandable compromise for SuperLiga fans.
Earlier this month, the hosting team started selling the tickets on the first game, which is a rescheduled rivalry game against Randers. While the fans won’t be able to interact directly with the players or cheer during the match, the game will be available from T.V.s at home, and players will feel the support of their fans from the Ceres Park. However, AGF Aarhus has promised to try and replicate the fans in a stand using a giant video board.