With the first international break of the football season coming to an end this week, a section of the fans have already started looking forward to the Premier League. The UK's top-tier football league is preparing for what could possibly be the first match of Cristiano Ronaldo since his return to Manchester United. More than a decade after he had left the club, the 36-year-old is back having proven himself as among the best in world football.
While he had joined the Portugal squad for their FIFA World Cup qualifiers, he returned early to join the club. Notably, the Red Devils are all ready to face Newcastle this Saturday which could well see the return of Ronaldo wearing the number 7 jersey. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner recently shattered the all-time top goalscorer in men's internationals and showed up at the club's Carrington training ground on Tuesday post his mandatory quarantine. He will only have time for a couple of training sessions if he has to play with the club in their next game.
Setback for fans in UK
If a report carried by ESPN is to be believed, United are hopeful that the football superstar will be fit and ready to play at least for a few minutes, if not start for them in their match on Saturday, despite completing the transfer less than ten days ago. However, it is not the most pleasant news for fans in the United Kingdom as the Newcastle match won't be broadcast live on television there. This could be a huge setback for fans who waiting to see Ronaldo wear the number 7 shirt for the first time since 2009.
The 3 pm blackout stipulation
This is because of a rule which states that no game of any kind- Premier League, Championship, Bundesliga or La Liga, can be broadcast live on British television on a Saturday between 2:45 pm. and 5:15 pm local time. With United's game having a 3 pm kick-off time, it is set to be governed under this rule. The rule originally had the FA Cup final excluded but from 2012 onwards even that match is being held with a kickoff time of 5:15 pm.
The stipulation, which is also known as the '3 pm blackout', has existed in the UK for over 40 years.