Why the NFL canceled the 2020 international games in memory of Don Shula


The end of the calendar is approaching, pandemic or no pandemic…


• We got our response on the International Series on Monday, with these five games brought back to the United States as planned. One of the main reasons why it’s really interesting – and sheds some light on the NFL’s planning for the fall. As the league worked with London mayor Sadiq Khan and officials from Wembley and Tottenham Hotspur in the UK and Televisa in Mexico, the differences in circumstances from country to country became apparent. As part of the fielding back in the fall, I was told the NFL plans to implement strict protocols in its stadiums, and it was clear during the discussions that it was going to be difficult to ” impose the same internationally on sites that host only a game or two. Of course, the most important reasons focus on the difficulty of sending hundreds of people to and from foreign countries at this stage. But it is at least remarkable that the protocols which are planned are sufficiently rigorous to have played a role in the scuttling of these dates.

• As for where the NFL is going internationally, the league is under contract to play at least two games at Wembley and two at Tottenham in 2021, and the two-year contract the NFL just made in Mexico City will continue and will be effective for 2021 and ’22 (provided things return to a relative normal). That said, the teams that leave next year may not be the same as the teams that are due to leave this year. The Jaguars were scheduled to play two games at Wembley, and are under contract to return there in 2021. But whether or not the Falcons or Dolphins have UK home dates in 2021, as they were scheduled for this year, or that the Cardinals play in Mexico in 2021, as planned this year, remains to be seen.


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