By Tim Stannard/beIN SPORTS USA
Griezmann virtually written off by Barca in swap deal with Inter for Lautaro Martinez
The coronavirus shutdown has been a test of whether the whole E-Games concept can make it stand up proudly in court.
In lieu of actual humans playing running after balls and whatnot, the lockdown is an experiment to assess whether people are willing to settle on the sofa with chicken wings and watch virtual versions of sport - whether performed by actual real-life players themselves or talented amateurs.
LaLiga has run an E-tournament won by Marco Asensio and PSG are set to do the same - on beIN SPORTS of course.
🏆 #ALLatHome Gaming Cup— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) April 3, 2020
It's time to take part in an unbelievable tournament! 🎮
You may be one of the lucky ones to face @layvinkurzawa, Julian Draxler, Juan Bernat, @DaXeFiFa and many more! ⚽
📩 Register here 👉 https://t.co/U3cL6aHQ6d
🏡 #StayAtHome #PSGengagé @All pic.twitter.com/MTTvFu4vmO
NASCAR might be thinking better of the concept after previous attempts had one driver rage quitting and another being punished for an unfortunate racial slur during an event.
But a new E-Sport is being introduced and it is hugely successful so far in terms of eyeballs and interest. Welcome to the world of E-Transfers.
Every day, different players are being moved around Europe's clubs willy-nilly, and ignoring the complete void of knowing anything that is going on that is due to come in soccer.
And rightly so for the simple reason that it is fun.
Real Madrid acquired both Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe on Monday, which is great news for them. Manchester United have snapped up Harry Kane.
Barcelona look set to have struck an E-deal with Inter today for Lautaro Martinez which will please Lionel Messi no-end. The Argentinean striker looks set to be virtually moving to Barca this summer after a swap deal for Antoine Griezmann and possibly even Arturo Vidal was struck in the media outlets of Spain and Italy. Both players are virtually worth around $125 million.
While that virtual business was going on, Barcelona were making real moves behind the scenes with club president, Josep Bartomeu, appointing some replacement board members for those that resigned on Friday.
The club also announced that it would begin legal proceedings against former VP, Emili Rousaud, who claimed there was corruption and fraud at the club in quite the send-off last week.
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Tour de France in peril as France announces further restrictions
Moving on to the real world now and further restrictions announced in France to lesson the impact of the COVID-19 virus spread are set to have ramifications on sport.
One of the strictest lockdowns in the world is to be extended to 11th May with President Macron declaring that the battle to control the outbreak was not yet won, but restrictions could potentially be eased after that date.
This means that France's borders remain closed to non-France nationals, a group that includes Neymar and Keylor Navas - two players that all returned to their native countries for their bout of self-isolation.
L'Equipe has reported that Ligue 1 had drawn up plans to restart proceedings on the 17th June, to end the season on the 25th July. Those games will all have to take place behind closed doors due to a ban on mass gatherings in France also declared until mid-July.
This also means that the jewel in France's sporting crown - the Tour de France - is in jeopardy with no way of getting the race underway on the 27th June as planned. Meetings will be taking place with the relevant authorities to decide whether the Tour can be held later in the year or cancelled all together.
International games could be over for 2020
There is an indication from FIFA that international soccer games may not return until 2021. Matches between nations have already been postponed from slots in March and June and the same could take place later in the year.
FIFA VP and president of the CONCACAF region, Victor Montagliani, said that international travel should be limited where possible for the rest of 2020 and that "domestic football is a priority."
It also looks like the Club World Cup will be moved to the summer of 2022 and take place in China after it was initially bumped to make room for the rescheduled European Championships and Copa America.