The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused almost all sports globally to cease, and football is no exception. Every major league across the world has suspended play, in accordance with public health measures put out by the WHO and many national governments, with the result that football fans have been left high and dry, with no matches to look forward to.

The usual weekend routine has been completely disrupted, especially at a crucial time of the season with no live score to report from any match, as most of the European leagues were gearing up for the run-in which would decide the identity of the winners, as well as the race for European spots, promotion, relegation, along with the cup competitions. It would all have been decided in the next six to eight weeks, but that is unlikely now, with this season likely to stretch on till June or even July.

Euro 2020 has also been postponed to 2021 as a result, to give more time to the leagues to finish their seasons once football can resume, but whether that will also be enough remains to be seen. In such a scenario, football fans have to turn to other sources of entertainment, whether they be online or otherwise.

With public health advisories making it clear that people should not gather, and ‘social distancing’ needs to be practiced, one of the best ways to stay in touch with football while in isolation is football video games, and more specifically, Football Manager 2020.

A number of online content providers have been giving away offers during this time to allow people to have things to do while they are shut inside their houses, and Sega, the publishers of Football Manager, have followed suit.

FM2020 is being offered as a free-to-play game on Steam till 25th March, with users having the option to buy the game at the end of this period. With the full version of the game being made available, fans can now jump right into the action and take charge of their club of choice to guide them to glory.

The latest version of the game will also have the January transfers being done, so, for example, Dortmund fans can begin to decimate defences with Erling Haaland from the get go, while Chelsea fans can play out the season safe in the knowledge that Hakim Ziyech is set to join their club from the next season onwards in the game. As any fan of the Football Manager series knows, it is easy to sink hours and hours into the game, and with this offer allowing players to indulge without paying till 25th March, it will be no surprise to see productivity drop for those working from home during this time.