London: England head coach Gareth Southgate revealed that at one point he thought football cannot resume before December as coronavirus pandemic had brought the whole world to a standstill.
All football leagues around Europe were suspended in March as a precautionary measure against the spread of the virus.
German Bundesliga showed the way by becoming the first league to resume matches behind closed door and now, other leagues like Premier League, LaLiga and Serie A are also set to follow suit.
“I am more optimistic now than six weeks ago, in that it feels as though the world is advancing in a good direction. There was a period when I didn’t think there was going to be anything before Christmas,” Southgate was quoted as saying in an interview.
“But the Bundesliga showed what was possible and now it feels more acceptable for football to come back in our country.
“When I was talking to players during lockdown, some were worried about taking the virus home. Others were worried whether it was appropriate to be playing when people were dying in the numbers they were,” he added.
“The situation with the virus has shifted, and, with the regulations that are in place at clubs, the players are more comfortable as I speak to them.”
In normal circumstances, Southgate would have been currently overseeing the England national team take part in the Euro 2020 but due to the pandemic, the tournament was shifted to 2021.
“The Uefa meeting I was in on was geared around the September, October, November international fixtures going ahead. Now, that is complicated by the start of domestic leagues across Europe. There is another Uefa meeting in about 10 days when we should have more clarity,” Southgate said.