As a result of the novel coronavirus, the Swiss American Football Federation, SAFV (Schweizerischer American Football Verband), has decided not to crown a champion for its top league (NLA) for the 2020 season. As soon as circumstances allow, the league will attempt to organize games and some form of a season (albeit one likely without import players).
This is not a postponement. It’s a form of cancellation. Basically, Switzerland’s top league, which allows import players, will not play this year in the league format, with a regular season and playoffs.
Some of the teams have elected to send the import (non-Swiss) players home. According to SAFV president Claudio Spescha, some form of football could be organized when circumstances allow but the format is yet to be decided.
“It was important for us to make such drastic and hopefully unique decisions after consultation with the clubs. Even if the current situation is probably not satisfying for anyone, we hope to have the best possible strategy now. What hurts me most is the countless hours of volunteer work that have been put into the season preparation and now the wages on the pitch are missing.”
Statement from the SAFV website:
There will be no official NLA championship in 2020 and therefore no Swiss champion (subsequently no NLA team will need to play a relegation game)
As soon as the situation allows it, game planning will resume for a replacement season. The specific format and timing of this season will be determined on the basis of the lifting of national and regional restrictions.
It is unlikely that there will be an official championship in 2020.
A decision is pending regarding whether there will be a shortened spring season, a Fall season (from mid August to mid October) or a split season (spring and autumn). In view of the improvised format, relegation and promotion in these leagues is highly unlikely.
The SAFV and its member clubs agree that we want to play again as soon as possible. Please note:
- we will not return to practice and play until it is safe to do so. This may mean that different teams can start training again at different times based on guidance from each canton. Such aspects will be taken into account when a match is resumed.
- matches would not be resumed until the teams have the opportunity to train before
Switzerland hard hit by COVID-19
Switzerland has been hit hard by the coronavirus. A total of 1,189 cases have been confirmed as of March 14 with 11 deaths. The government has introduced increasingly stringent measures in an effort to curb the spread of the disease.
Cases of new coronavirus infections have been confirmed in more than 110 countries or regions.
More than 21,000 cases of new coronavirus have been confirmed in Italy. Of those, 1,441 people are known to have died.
Globally over 156,500 people are confirmed to have been infected with the new coronavirus and 5,838 people are known to have died, 2,539 outside of mainland China.