After weeks of boredom, there is a gleam of hope for South Korean residents who have been eagerly waiting for their pro football matches to start again. The South Korean pro football league kicks off its 2020 season on 8th May with the opening match to be televised in real-time across 17 countries.
With Sportradar starring the broadcast network, 12 major international channels have already confirmed they will be showing the live K league sports matches. Sportdigital Fussball, a German-based television channel, has also confirmed that it will air the matches in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Other countries that will also be covering the Korean football event include China, Serbia, Hong Kong, Montenegro, and India.
It was almost obvious that Sportradar would air all the matches despite the Covid-19 after the merger agreement they signed with K League last December, leaving them as K League’s sole international broadcast distributor. The new season of K League 1, also the top division of football in South Korea, was supposed to commence in February, but just like every other sporting activity, it was called off because of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
After a relentless battle to curb the spreading of the virus, the East Asian nation recently announced the gradual easing of strict measures that had initially been directed. In Seoul, for instance, several multi-purpose facilities are starting to reopen for fans but on very specific operational rules.
To avoid another wave of the virus, K League announced they will be playing without the physical presence of fans at the stadium. Only coaches and other important parties will be permitted but under stern measures. So far sources close to the matter have reported that no handshakes will be allowed and coaches will have to wear face masks at all times.
Even though the virus devastated the entire sports industry, it looks like things are starting to recover. There are reports that German Bundesliga is also planning to resume operations at the end of this month.