The coronavirus pandemic has now become even more virulent with just about every country closing their borders to try and restrict the spread of the new Covid-19 variants which are raging through Europe at the moment.
All countries are introducing tougher lockdown measures, including Portugal, who were one of the last of the European countries to be seriously affected, but are now seeing cases spiral out of control. A report on Portugal in Aljazeera today said: “Authorities are toughening up restrictions after estimating that just 30 percent of the population respect social distancing rules.
However, Francisco Miranda Rodrigues, the president of one of Portugal’s top associations of mental health professionals, Ordem dos Psicólogos Portugueses (OPP), said: “It’s a complicated cocktail of causes, perhaps unique to Portugal.
“Twenty percent of our population lives in poverty or social exclusion, a very significant figure, and after such a long pandemic their limited resources have been used up. As a result, their ability to follow [the lockdown] rules has gone up in smoke.”
Arsenal are supposed to be playing Benfica in the Europa League in just three weeks time, but would you want to travel in the midst of such danger? Especially as the new variant are affecting even more people and also more younger people.
England is hardly out of the woods either and the Government has closed it’s borders for any unneccessary travel either in or out of the country, and the vaccine will not be widespread in just three weeks time.
So the question must be asked; where can the game be played even if Arsenal and Benfica can agree on a so-called “neutral venue”? Should the game really go ahead anywhere while the whole of Europe is in deep lockdown.
If I was an Arsenal player, I wouldn’t be keen. Would you?