Large sports crowds 'unrealistic' this year—WHO | Inquirer Sports
Close  

Large sports crowds ‘unrealistic’ this year—WHO

/ 03:52 PM August 06, 2020

FILE — Football fans cheer during the South Korean K-League football match between Incheon United FC and Gwangju FC in Incheon on August 1, 2020. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP)

The World Health Organization said Wednesday it was “unrealistic” to expect large crowds at sports events this year in countries suffering from community-level transmission of the new coronavirus.

WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan said it could be “disastrous” in such circumstances to allow the return of sports matches with tens of thousands of people attending.

ADVERTISEMENT

Asked in a live WHO social media chat when major sports events could come back, Ryan said it was impossible to predict.

“We don’t know,” the Irish epidemiologist said.

FEATURED STORIES

“Large crowds of 40, 50, 60,000 people — it’s not just the risk of being in the stadium, it’s the risk of going to the stadium, the public transport, the bars and the clubs,” he explained.

“Imagine all the problems we have now with nightclubs and bars, and you squeeze all of that together into a four- or five-hour experience, where thousands of people go on the same public transport to a venue, get involved in the social aspects before a game, be involved in the game and then all of the social aspects after.

“In the context of community transmission, that could be disastrous.”

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the 2020 European football championships have been postponed until next year, while major football tournaments like Europe’s Champions League and the English Premier League have been forced behind closed doors.

“We may have to expect that as things open up, we go from having no-one at the games to maybe 1,000 and 2,000,” said Ryan.

“We all want our sport back. We’re just going to have to be careful for a good bit longer.

“It’s very unrealistic in countries with community transmission that we’re going to be seeing large gatherings like that this year.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Right now, it’s hard to see those fully re-opened venues.”

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Coronavirus Pandemic, COVID-19, Fans, Football, Sports
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.