• August 10th, 2020

Shooting from the hip - The effects, implications  of Covid-19  on sports 

While a sizeable number of the top football leagues across the globe shut down activities in their respective leagues over the deadly pandemic, some have resolved to carry on with slight adjustments, such as playing league matches behind closed doors.

 The devastating crisis has propelled the immediate cancellation and suspensions of several high-profile sporting gatherings, including the world-wide popular English Premier League (EPL), the mega of global television audience. 

Playing high profile sporting events behind closed doors will, without an iota of doubt, defeat the spirit of the game because fans, supporters and the beautiful game goes hand in glove. 
Sponsors will be hard hit because of restricted or rather insufficient mileage. Athletes won’t perform at their level best in empty stadia in the absence of cheerful supporters, the ultimate pillars of the game. 

The biggest challenge is how clubs and other sport institutions are going to cope with honoring their contractual obligations (payment) towards their subjects (players). Sponsors are coughing up large amounts of “moolah” in return for mileage through the television audience. 

It should be noted that football is larger than life... popular hangout eateries and “chwalah” spots’ most valuable frequenters are football fans. Business depends heavily on this type of clientele, and their unavoidable absence could have far-reaching financial implications, so to speak.
Staff members will be severely financially affected and could lead to stressful conditions at home, which could further impact badly on the rest of close family members (household). Remember the old slogan, “a hungry person is an angry human being”. The inevitable grounding of sport events could have far reaching repercussions. 

Golf caddies from informal settlements are likely to become the biggest losers since their livelihood depends largely on their meager earnings from gracing the greens, fetching stray balls at the Windhoek Country Club golf course whilst the cancellation of the popular horseracing competition will also have serious financial implications for vendors. 

Despite the outbreak of this devastating coronavirus and subsequent ban of all public gatherings, some  quarters are going about their business unhindered, bringing us to the question “where does one draw the line”.

Supermarkets, food retails, bars and kambashus, to name but a few, are the most vulnerable institutions because when human beings have one too many drinks, the brothers and sisters can easily turn unruly and immune to the rule and law governing their togetherness. 

 Authorities should come up with clear guidelines and monitoring systems regarding the shutdown of sporting events and stop paying lip service while peoples’ lives are at stake. 
For example, if we say no competitions to avoid any physical contact, then practice sessions, where potential individuals are likely to come into bodily contact through travelling in public transport, should also be accorded the same treatment. 

Before I sign off, yours truly will be willfully interested to be enlightened as to whether China, Europe and the Americas were also pressing the panic buttons when the deadly Ebola Epidemic caused havoc in Africa. I’m just wondering. I rest my case.     

Carlos Kambaekwa
2020-03-27 10:23:22 | 4 months ago

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