A year later, the European soccer championships begin, putting the epidemic period to the test.

Written by Kirti Pathak

Published on : June 12, 2021 12:34

The biggest sporting event since the coronavirus brought the globe to a halt begins Friday at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, after being postponed by a year a watershed moment for both European and global sports.
The first match of the European Championship in soccer was played in the capital of Italy, the first country outside of Asia to be severely affected by the pandemic and the first in the world to impose a statewide lockdown. Italy defeated Turkey 3-0, with all three goals coming in the second half, delighting the mask-wearing home crowd.
The event is a significant step forward in the continent’s recovery from one of the darkest chapters in its history since World War II. Over a million Europeans have died as a result of the pandemic, including almost 127,000 Italians.
“After everything that has transpired, now that the situation is improving, I believe the time has come to start giving them something to be satisfied with,” said Italy’s coach Roberto Mancini, who tested positive for COVID-19 in November but was asymptomatic.
The tournament was postponed in March of last year as countries scrambled to manage virus outbreaks and big sporting events around the world were cancelled or postponed.
Many are concerned that bringing tens of thousands of fans together in stadiums across Europe is still unsafe, but organizers hope that measures such as crowd limits, staggered arrival times for fans, social distancing rules, and plenty of hand sanitizer will help prevent a resurgence of virus infections, which have dropped sharply in Europe in recent months.
Fans entering the stadium in Rome were required to produce papers proving they had been vaccinated against the virus, tested negative 48 hours before the game, or had the disease.