UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has expressed his belief that “good old football with fans” will return “very soon,” as he discussed the state of the game.
Ceferin has been continually optimistic over the resurgence of football after the coronavirus pandemic, which has been vindicated to an extent with the Bundesliga’s resumption.
This is, of course, in his best interest as president of Europe’s governing body, but his views hold sway regardless as he will be among those determining the fate of the sport.
And therefore, his confidence that fans will be able to attend games “very soon” is an interesting one, with the Slovenian take a glass-half-full approach when it comes to coronavirus.
“It’s a serious situation but it is going down now and we are being more cautious,” he told the Guardian.
“We know more about the virus and in general I’m an optimistic person.
“I don’t like this apocalyptic view that we have to wait for the second and third waves or even a fifth wave.
“People you know are likely to die one day, but do we have to be worried today? I don’t think so.
“We are ready and we will follow the recommendations of the authorities but I’m absolutely sure, personally, that good old football with fans will come back very soon.”
Ceferin added that he would “bet a million dollars” on the European Championship being able to go ahead as normal in 2021, and that he “doesn’t think that anything will change forever.”
“It’s a new experience and when we get rid of this bloody virus things will go back to normal,” he insisted.
“Football didn’t change after the Second World War, or First World War, and it will not change because of a virus either.
“People have said many times that the world will not be the same after…this might be true, but my point of view is why not think that the world will be better after this virus?
“Why not think that we will be smarter, or finally understand how fragile we are, how unprotected we are towards nature? So, there are always lessons to be learned.”
The 52-year-old has taken a philosophical stance on the situation, and his assertion that fans will be back “very soon” should be taken with a pinch of salt.
But it is encouraging to hear nonetheless, in a period where little is certain and positivity is paramount.