OPINION: Game must not be driven by money, safety comes first
We all want football back. It unites us more than anything else across the world.
But what makes it acceptable for players, managers and staff to return when the rest of the country is still in lockdown and standing two metres apart in the supermarket queue?
Players will want to get back, we all want some normality in our lives again. But we are still getting daily briefings telling us that another 700 people have passed away. If this is still going on, we surely cannot just pretend that it’s all going to be fine.
I know the Premier League, as the Bundesliga have done, will do all they can to keep players from contracting it with tests and distancing where possible. But what if one player slips through the net and contracts the virus?
It could be days before he feels any symptoms, it could happen in between tests. That could affect the whole team and ultimately the whole league. Before we know it, we are back to square one again.
There have been a lot of ideas as to how football can return. Teams could go into isolation in hotels —but who is cleaning the rooms, preparing and delivering the food, cleaning the kit, driving the bus? That’s before we have got to the ground. Then there’s match officials, security staff, caterers, ball boys, media. Not to mention the fans that will try to attend.
Plans in Germany say players can stay at home as long as they follow guidelines. But some players may live with children or older relatives who are more at risk. What if a player contracts it and puts his family at risk? No player would be happy doing that.
What is sad about this is that it could all boil down to money. Money speaks volumes in every walk of life, especially this one.
I accept football’s return is a vital boost to the economy of the clubs and to the jobs of people connected to the game. But what if the worst happens? I hope we will be able to restart but I fear doing so before it is safe.
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