Sports News

Is it time to bring the National League to a halt?

This weekend, the coronavirus took away our much loved Premier League and EFL football, but the National League fixtures were still played.

So what makes the fifth tier of football special?

Although football is a huge part of people’s lives in this country and for some, the weekend is what people look forward to just so they can see their team in action.

But, was the decision to continue our non-league fixtures despite the top four tiers of English football going ahead, a big mistake?

Is this something we may look back on in the future when coronavirus is put behind us with naivety and regret? I think so.

The UK’s death rate and infection rate isn’t sky high right now compared to other countries, but as we’ve seen with other countries, it doesn’t take long for that infection rate to rise, which is why we need to bring all sport to a halt.

Of course, we all love our sport. As already mentioned, for some it can be the only time they can get a release from the stress of life. Not just for the sport itself but the social aspect of seeing friends and family.

But over the coming months, the social aspect of our lives that we’ve all taken for granted will probably have restrictions too.

Unfortunately, it looks like we’re in for a big test as a country over the next few months and life might be a bit different for everyone.

But back onto the National League. What makes them different from the top four leagues? Of course, attendances are lower but there was still an attendance of 2,126 spectators at Sutton United’s Gander Green Lane.

One of the fixtures we saw in the National League this weekend was a 1-1 draw between Sutton United and Hartlepool United.

Highlights of Sutton United’s 1-1 draw with Hartlepool United

Here’s Hartlepool’s media manager Mark Simpson’s reflection on the game:

“I think there was a different atmosphere. I think some of the players commented on it after the game as well. It was quite an eerie atmosphere.

“I don’t go to Sutton too often, that’s only my third visit so I don’t know what the atmosphere’s usually like there but it did feel a little bit uncertain.

“There were people who I think weren’t certain that they should be there and whether it was the right thing to do, to be there. It was played out to a strange backdrop, I’m not going to lie.”

Mark Simpson, Hartlepool United’s Media Manager.
Gavan Holahan celebrated Harlepool’s equaliser.

Maybe now is the time to bring all football to a halt. A solution to how the rest of the season being played out will be tough to find but people’s lives need to come before football.

We’ve seen a few other high profile players such as Chelsea’s Mason Mount breaking new guidelines, maybe shutting down all leagues will show people the seriousness of coronavirus.

The Premier League and the EFL have made the correct and safe decision and now it’s time for the National League to do the same.

When the decision is made, it will be a while before we see packed out stadiums again but for now, lives are at stake. We need to put our lives and the lives of others first.

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