Ken Early on finishing the Premier League season, favourite sporting moments

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Kevin Kilbane tries to close down Zinedine Zidane during a qualifier for the 2006 World Cup, where the French midfielder would steal the show again. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Kevin Kilbane tries to close down Zinedine Zidane during a qualifier for the 2006 World Cup, where the French midfielder would steal the show again. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The completion of the 2019-20 Premier League season hangs in the balance, with football suspended everywhere in Europe - apart from Belarus - due to the global coronavirus pandemic. With the 2020-21 season scheduled to start on Saturday August 8th, time is running out to finish the current campaign. However in his column this morning, Ken Early suggests it might make more sense to do so, rather than start all over again. He writes: “Yet this logic also depends on the assumption that it will be possible to begin the 20-21 season on time. If distancing measures are still needed in August - and if the virus continues to circulate in the community, then why wouldn’t they be? - then you reach a point where everything is such a huge mess that you might as well finish off the last season before figuring out when and how to kick off the next one.”

Today sees the first in a series of pieces in which Irish Times journalists will be delving into the memory banks and discussing their favourite sporting moments. Seán Moran kicks things off by alluding to what a thankless task selecting just one moment is, he writes: “So much happens in a lifetime and sport conveniently lays itself out in neatly tagged years and seasons. Sorting out memories - never mind ranking them - is hard enough with all the digression and tumbling down rabbit-holes.” Meanwhile Emmet Malone has looked back to the 2006 World Cup quarter-final between France and Brazil, and the magic of Zinedine Zidane in a 1-0 victory. “When Zidane pirouetted past three Brazilians in the first minute, however, you suddenly sensed that it might not matter what the defending champions tried. It felt like a Roy Keane against the Netherlands opening moment; different and yet the same and it suggested that this was to be another of the French midfielder’s great days.”

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