Every day we see news from all over the world about the number of people infected daily by the coronavirus daily on each country. All of that is already directly affecting sporting events, that at first decided not to gather audiences, but now it’s looking like we might be left without any sporting competition worldwide.
The first step was closed gates, what about the 2nd one?
It seemed unimaginable a couple of weeks ago, that we would right now be going through such a disastrous situation due to the coronavirus outbreak. Countries in Europe have already announced the stoppage of several society activities, such as schools, universities and even industry sectors.
In sports, it’s not different, and we are dealing with something that’s becoming more and more serious by the day and that can put an end to sports this season. It isn’t pointless alarmism, but concrete facts about what has been happening.
Italy was the first country with great competitions having to surrender to the virus. Due to the huge number of citizens infected, football and other sports’ competitions have been played behind closed doors now.
This week, we’ve seen matches of the Champions League, the biggest football club competition in the world, being played with no audience on the stadium.
Matches are being postponed, because everyone is scared of contracting the disease, that seems not to be under control of the health authorities.
The Premier League have postponed our match with Manchester City on Wednesday night as a precautionary measure.https://t.co/qTX1QiXjZv
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) March 11, 2020
This Wednesday, there was a Premier League match being played, between Manchester City and Arsenal.
The match was postponed, due to the possibility of some of Arsenal’s players being infected with the disease, since they were in direct contact with Olympiakos’ owner, on a recent match of the Europa League.
In Germany, there were news that a player was already diagnosed with coronavirus and that can affect some matches, since he was in direct contact with his teammates and danger is imminent.
In the Europa League, the match between Inter and Getafe, that was scheduled to be played this Thursday, won’t be played.
The reason is because the president of the Spanish club stated there was no way he was making the trip to Italy
A similar situation is happening on the match between Sevilla and Roma. Although the match was being played in Spain, the authorities wouldn’t allow the plane of the Italian club to land, due to the conditions that their country is currently on.
With all of this, future possibilities are already being discussed, and we might see all sporting events being cancelled or postponed on the European continent. It makes no sense for some matches to be played and others not.
The authorities decided not to authorize the entrance of some clubs in the country or to just cancel events.
The situation is tragic, and sports are at risk of simply stopping.
Public figures are taking stands regarding the situation
A big tennis tournament was cancelled. Indian Wells, that is considered a “mini Grand Slam”, won’t be played right now and it might be postponed to after the US Open (that is, if the situation is solved until then).
Torneio de Indian Wells foi cancelado por causa do coronavírus. pic.twitter.com/h43cnOWDvv
— B24 (@B24PT) March 9, 2020
For the first time in history, a Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place without an audience. The Bahrain GP won’t have any crowd in the stands and the same thing can happen on the next races, or the teams might even refuse to race on these conditions.
Pep Guardiola, Manchester City’s manager, gave an interview where he spoke openly about this situation.
For the Spanish manager, it makes no sense to have events occurring without any fans, because for him, the event is for the fans and without them, there are no reasons for matches to be played, even if it affects the scheduling.
The NBA superstar Lebron James, from the Los Angeles Lakers, has a similar idea.
When asked about his opinion regarding the possibility of NBA games having to be played without crowd, James was frank: “I’m not playing without fans”.
For the Lakers’ No. 23, there are no reasons for games to be played if the fans can’t follow them. The biggest NBA player of this time said they should just follow the procedure to try and fight this problem.
Aí não, né, LeBron…
— NBA do Povo 🏀🇧🇷 #RIPKOBE (@NBAdoPovo) March 11, 2020
In South America, the CONMEBOL is already considering matches without audience in the Copa Libertadores, and in Paraguay spectators are already forbidden at the stadiums.
That’s where a question appears: If the clubs there have financial difficulties, and one of their biggest income comes from ticket sales, how will they sustain themselves?
There is no easy way out for these problems, and the decisions, although they might be right, are directly affecting the sport and the scheduling of the competitions. Unfortunately, if the situation doesn’t improve quickly, we will have the complete stoppage of sports all around the world.