Let's see off COVID-19 before we think of schoolboy football


Let's see off COVID-19 before we think of schoolboy football

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!

HEARTENED no doubt by good news flowing from the restart of the German football league, the Bundesliga, English Premier League clubs have provisionally agreed to a return to televised competition before empty stadiums on June 17.

It's still only provisional, since final authorisation has to come from other authorities — not least the British Government.

But the Premier League initiative is another indication of a gathering momentum in global professional sport that despite the novel coronavirus, the business of sport, driven by television revenues, must go on.

Crucial to the decision in English football has been an apparent easing of fears among players. This follows reports that in football, the numbers testing positive for the novel coronavirus have been quite low.

In Germany, the greatest concern surrounding the return of the Bundesliga without spectators has apparently focused on the failure by some players to strictly follow social distancing and hygiene rules.

Caught up in the joy of the moment, some players have celebrated goals by hugging and 'high fiving', much to the consternation of administrators and local authorities. However, a feared hike in coronavirus cases among players, support staff, officials, et al, has up to now not happened, though players from Dynamo Dresden had to be quarantined because of an infection scare.

We are told that there were record-breaking television audiences on the return of the Bundesliga, with over six million people in Germany watching the first few matches.

That television factor is going to be the clincher for professional sport in the weeks and months ahead.

It explains the push by the England and Wales Cricket Board and Cricket West Indies to do all in their power to make the planned three-Test cricket tour of England a reality.

We are expecting confirmation of that, with a West Indies squad likely to be named sooner, rather than later.

Locally, we note muted talk of the popular schoolboy football season starting perhaps midway the September to December school term.
It would be good if the situation improves so drastically in the next several months that such a thing actually does happen.

However, from our vantage point, there would not be a great deal lost if the organisers of school sport, the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association, were to decide it's not feasible. It seems to us that there will be enough on the table just trying to return students and teachers to the classroom.

To begin with, unlike global, well-developed professional sport with television audiences in the millions guaranteeing a profit, spectator-less schoolboy football is a non-starter. Nor would it make sense to go through the complications, plus costs, of widespread testing and other logistics and protocols to ensure the safety of schoolboy players, support staff, and officials.

Maybe sometime soon a way will be found to bring COVID-19 to heel. Until then, it seems to us, organised amateur sports competitions involving schools and otherwise will just have to wait.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon