Martin Devlin: How will sport manage the Covid-19 threat?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 22 May 2020, 2:43PM

Martin Devlin: How will sport manage the Covid-19 threat?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 22 May 2020, 2:43PM

So what happens next if a player tests positive for Covid19?

Because it will happen. It has to happen and we're naive to think it won't. As all sorts of leagues around the globe get ready to re-start the one question no-one wants to answer is who will be the next Rudy Gobert. Remember him? The Utah Jazz player was the first NBA player to test positive effectively becoming the  catalyst for the closure of every professional sports comp to follow. 

That was way back in mid-March. Now with the Bundesliga up and running, NRL starting next Thursday, Super Rugby & MLB just weeks away this is an issue which simply has to be dealt with. To think that no-one at all, not a single player, coach, trainer, physio or any of the  other many folk attached to these teams will not test positive in the upcoming weeks is plain idiocy.

What needs to be made very publicly clear is how will the inevitability be handled? Will it be a sport-wise co-ordinated effort or left to individual organisations and/or their respective governments to effect the appropriate response. And at present we're only talking competitions within contained borders, who knows what added complications, say, a rebooted Champions League might bring?

Obviously the preparation must be for a worst case scenario, anything else given what we've already endured would be foolhardy, with the logistics involved almost mind-boggling. And all this under the presumption that if/when it happens, unlike the situation that evolved after Gobert's test, the various leagues will continue on - meaning we aren't going to see  everything coming to another worldwide shuddering halt. So why will it be so different this time around? Good question and one I can't answer.

Then there's the issue of when crowds will be allowed to congregate again, this presenting the exact same set of problems if/when a spectator tests positive and what then happens to everyone else who attended that particular game. All the above are questions that we need answers to.

Clearly I'm not qualified to pretend I know best. The most worrying thing being I'm not sure there's in fact anyone who actually is.