Exercise caution in return to sporting

Friday, May 15th, 2020 00:00 |
Football game. Photo/Courtesy

A century ago, the 1918 Spanish flu and the First World War shut sports arenas and sent sportsmen and women into a limbo — some even succumbed to the ravages of the time.

The misery of the calamities—natural and misguided human adventurism— stole part of the life of sports; the euphoria and disappointment associated with the adrenalin of various disciplines just froze.

 Today, the outbreak of another pandemic has shut and thrown an ominous veil over sports activities and sporting calendars for the last three months.

Besides the excitement of the sports, livelihoods have also been lost.

With World Health Organisation reports indicating that the killer virus is not going away any time soon, the sporting world is beginning to creep towards competition again.

But even as the decision will be dictated by the Covid-19 status in individual countries, it is high time the sports fraternity found a way of resuming action with proper, laid down measures to guarantee the safety of participants.

Those who work in sports—including athletes, coaches, and the staff of professional teams, sport institutes, universities, and high schools—are all dealing with an equal void because their professional lives have been significantly disrupted. 

They aren’t permitted to go to work and put in the long days of training and preparation leading up to a season.

Some competitive seasons were interrupted midstream, and it’s uncertain whether those seasons will be adequately concluded. 

The resumption of the South Korean K-League last weekend and the anticipated return of the German Bundesliga tomorrow is a good sign of the gradual return of sports globally.

English Premier League has been cleared for resumption on June 1, while the Italian Serie A’s resumption has been set for June 13.

The Spanish La Liga is likely to resume on June 12. Other key leagues are set to resume early next month.

We pray that loss of life will be averted in coming weeks and months to allow games and sports to start and re-opening of sports calendars. 

Even as this happens, there are possible hidden risks for players as adequate training has been an uncertainty during the shut-down period.

Rapid return by teams to conclude play-off games may be self-defeating.

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