Norwegian football’s crisis plan: Elite series rounds may have to be moved to 2021

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The Norwegian Football Association plans for this year’s football season to be extended to January next year. Molde is the club that is most pressed for time.

to the exception of the quarantine rules for elite football. Thus, there is still a danger that matches will have to be postponed, which happened when the entire Viking squad was quarantined after that.

The last series round in the Elite Series is scheduled for 19 December. Three days later, the play-off match is played between team number fourteen in the Eliteserien and the winner of the qualifiers in the Obosligaen.

Competition director Nils Fisketjønn in NFF says that it is especially the Molde matches that can ensure drastic changes in the match program. Molde does not have midweek vacancies due to games in Europe. If there is an infection in the Molde camp or with opponents they are to face, NFF has two options to still finish the season.

– Plan A is to play the match program as it is now set up, without any teams getting any infection. Plan B is to move matches to January 2021, and plan C is to shrink the rest time the teams have, says Fisketjønn.

Current regulations state that Norwegian teams must have at least 48 hours of rest before the next match. In Norway, it has been a tradition for teams to have three nights between matches.

– According to the regulations, we can shorten this. A bit like they do in England at times. It is fragile and the risk of infection is significant, and that is also the reason why we applied for this exception, says Fisketjønn.

Molde director Ole Erik Stavrum says the club is extremely vigilant.

– In the domestic series, we get the match postponed, so if we then play in space Christmas, we get to do it. But in Europe, we risk the match ending 0-3, he says.

The club has lived in an infection control regime since it opened for contact training in May.

– We do not do anything extra now than before, but we are perhaps even more careful that the guidelines are followed. A-team and sports are very isolated. We are strict with visits to the stadium and meetings. There has hardly been a single case of corona in Molde, in that sense we are lucky, but we must be tight, says the manager of the club with six points after two games in the Europa League.

In Norwegian football, it has been important to complete the last two series rounds on a fair basis. Therefore, all matches have a time that is exactly the same.

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