News Analysis

Impact of Coronavirus Pandemic on Sports

As the spread of Covid-19, also known as Coronavirus pandemic escalates across the world, a number of sports organisations have altered their schedules in response to the pandemic.

Indeed, in the past few weeks, the inevitable impact of the coronavirus on the sports industry has landed with a stunning blow. 

While most sports associations have suspended their nation’s leagues, some clubs were compelled to play without spectators.

In the longer term, summer events like the UEFA’s euro 2020 and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, as well as the Paralympics have been postponed till next year.

Also, the bi-annual Nigerian National Sports Festival, NSF, billed for Edo State was postponed indefinitely, few days to its commencement. 

According to the World Health Organisation, W.H.O., over five hundred thousand worldwide cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed, while over fourteen thousand people have died so far.

Among the dead are two Spanish sports journalists.

A fifty-nine year old José María Candela, who worked for Radio Nacional De España (RNE) and Seventy-Eight year old director general, Motorpoint Networks Editores, Tomás Díaz-Valdés, both died of Covid-19 last Friday.

Few sportsmen have tested positive, while many of them are currently in self-isolation.

Sports events are no longer a simple diversion to brighten up midweek nights and weekends, but a dangerous public space.

For the first time since World War two, the billion dollars industry is suspended, affecting athletes, clubs, leagues, tournaments, organizations and thousands of people whose livelihood depends on sports, including sports journalists. 

No doubt, sports as a unifying factor, has suffered greatly due to the outbreak of Covid-19 and if this lingers on, it could result in job cuts.

Sports businesses would be affected due to the lockdown, many sports organisations might not be able to pay salaries of staff, while many stakeholders in the world of sports will likely be confronted with issues relating to contracts, insurance, employment, health and safety, sales, and operations.  

Also, the livelihood of thousands of sports journalists has gone as most sports media outfits could not meet their financial obligations, of course, they are not alone.

Though initial statements from leagues and national associations have set early next month as a target for resumption, however, health experts forecast the pandemic raging for a further three or even four months.

Sports’ suspension due to the Covid-19 outbreak may also mean a last full-stop for many sports publications, tipping even more colleagues into the abyss.

While it is commendable that some sportsmen are contributing to the financial kitty in the fight against Covid-19, it is imperative to know that the preservation of human lives is the most important thing right now.

Olaolu Fawole

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