Threat of Covid looms large for football
The news that many players have tested positive does not bode well at all, and now that some of the sports biggest have been exposed, there must be real concerns all around.
Mbappe and Neymar would be a loss to any tournament or team, and now they are very high profile names that the sport will miss out on for a while. That’s bad enough for their nations, clubs, fans, and don’t ever forget families, but when one infection enters the group it risks everything.
Whether it was a lone wolf or an Aberdeen type group, the work, home, sleep routine the globe is expecting footballers to adhere to is not being respected by all, leading to outbreaks.
Footballers are again showing they can’t be trusted with this responsibility, but let’s face it, they aren’t only ones, just the most visible right now.
In not cancelling thus bringing players together, those running leagues and tournaments are taking one hell of a predetermined gamble that none of the players pay a heavy price and certainly not the ultimate one. For if gathering to play football at any level can be shown to have a real danger of detrimental effect on players careers, the sport will correctly be paused.
The general assumption that athletes will be fine as they are strong and fit which comes with the territory is a very very dangerous one. All it will take to end that school of thought will be one big name player to suffer severely.
The PSG dressing room look as if they will be the first collective to test this theory out, and while I hope they all come through fine, at some stage one individual will do worse than the rest, and that’s when the game will stop and think.
But actually, it shouldn’t take someone to get sick first to halt proceedings.
Now that we see there’s no shielding even the megastars from the dangerous real world, the sport needs to consider steps.
If it won’t, the players themselves should.
No one at all should feel forced to risk themselves and their families health for our entertainment yes but essentially the TV paymasters. Just because you can kick a ball good doesn’t mean you should face anymore risk than Joe Plumber.
If the players were already feeling like guinea pigs forced into gatherings the rest of the nation aren’t allowed, this latest news will only add to the misgivings on their part.
Football is important but not that important at all at the same time.
Players are only human.
Trying to get things up and running may have felt right at the time, but the minute there’s a price to pay then please back the alternative.
At least that would help keep the beauty in the beautiful game.
The above by Mahe.