Abraham Teye Lartey’s thoughts…..COVID-19 and football

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Over some few months now, the world has come to a standstill because a common enemy has evaded it and brought almost all activities to a halt.

The novel Covid-19 virus has proven that human life is the most important and valuable asset in these present times. The most powerful countries are giving up everything just to save the lives of its citizens. As a result of this pandemic, sporting activities around the world have been brought to a halt. Because the only way an individual could contract the virus is human to human contact. We know that all sporting activities deal with human to human contact, therefore, there is the need to postpone all sporting activities till this pandemic is kicked out.

Major sporting events have been cancelled or postponed. The most significant one that was due to take place in Japan this summer was the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. However, the International Olympic committee and Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe have postponed the event to next year, where it will now take place from July 23 to August 8, 2021.

In soccer, major leagues around the world have conceded resuming and adhering to strict measures which includes frequent testing of every member of various teams and playing behind closed doors. The Bundesliga in Germany has already resumed and other European leagues are also almost ready to resume like that of Spanish laLiga, English Premier league etc. by mid of June 2020. Football is trying to gain its shape in these hard times as we all try to live with this novel COVID-19. When we come home to Ghana, all measures are being put in place to also ensure that our league continues as well. Finally, football is coming back and funs around the world are somewhat relieved by this news.

Football tournament like the African Nations Championship 2020, this year’s Copa America, Euro 2020 tournament, the Euro Women’s Championship have all been postponed. The London Marathon which was scheduled to take place just this past month of April has been postponed until October 4.

In Formula 1, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix has been postponed due to this pandemic. Formula 1 has also cancelled the season-opening Australian GP due to the Pandemic as well.

In the world of Tennis, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said 900 tournaments across all its circuits had been postponed and that it was furloughing half its staff.

The pandemic has really been an enemy to the world affecting everything around us. Most notably, sportsmen and women have tested positive for the virus. Some have lost their lives while others have stayed strong and recovered. Former Real Madrid President, Lorenzo Sanz lost his life some few months ago to the virus. Paulo Dybala, a Juventus star player has also tested positive for the fourth time in the past six weeks for the virus.

Most fans are not happy around the world because they believe sports is the only way through which some people unite. With a lockdown in most countries, some sportsmen and women have devised other methods to keep themselves in shape. Coming up with daily routines and “stay home challenges” to keep fit for the sports season to bounce back. Also, some football clubs have rolled out daily training routines for their players during this lockdown season to help them keep in shape as well.

The Pandemic has also affected sports economically. All the sporting events generates income to the countries and sports federations across board and therefore postponing these events have caused loss of huge incomes to them. Some football clubs around Europe are also considering laying off some of their working staff due to this pandemic. Some clubs have also agreed on a pay cut with their players due to this pandemic. One of the Spanish football clubs, Barcelona, has agreed a 70 percent cut on all players’ salary to contribute to the fight against this deadly pandemic. This Pandemic has really affected most European clubs economically.

With the recovery rate shooting up at a high pace each day, there is hope that everything will return to normal and that all sporting activities will bounce back with a lot of expectations and excitement from fans across the globe. The world is indeed in hard times and we hope this too shall pass. The enemy we face today is strong but together we shall overcome it and win the fight against the novel Covid-19 pandemic.

The writer is a student of the Ghana Institute of Journalism

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