The World Athletics president, Sebastian Coe, has hinted that his organisation may emulate a major football body like Bundesliga and bring its competitions out of Coronavirus quarantine, and stage athletics events without spectators.
World Athletics tentatively scheduled it’s 11-meeting Diamond League to hold from August to October 2020. World Championships in Eugene, Oregon was shifted from 2021 to 2022
And boss Coe, in an interview with insidethegames, sounded confident of defying the Covid-19 crisis and sticking with the Diamond League plan, as he relishingly made reference to the German Bundesliga example.
Germany’s top two football leagues – Bundesliga 1 and 2, resumed on Saturday, May 16, after two months in hiatus due to the coronavirus outbreak. And the Bundesliga’s bold move was bound to inspire other major sports organisers around the world to also return with same precautionary measures being implemented by the Germans.
Bundesliga games are now being played without spectators. The fans watch on television at home. Coaches and players in the dugout are mandated to wear masks while also observing social distancing , as well as journalists and the medical team, among other safety measures.
Aside the Bundesliga which is one of the top leagues in the world, a minnow K-League (South Korea) resumed last week, while the leagues of Belarus and Nicaragua were never quarantined.
Outside football, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) became one of the first sporting events to come out covid-19 quarantine when the organisers staged the fight between Tony Ferguson and Juson Gaethje on May 9 without spectators.
Organisers of other elite football leagues – the English Premier League, Laliga and Serie A are hoping to restart theirs in June.
“In the short term we may have to compromise on that. We can’t be oblivious or tin-eared to what we are being told by local communities and public health authorities. It may well mean that ” Coe told insidethegames when asked about keeping the fans out when World Athletics’ events return.
“It’s clear that football is going to come back quite quickly with the Bundesliga plans.
“And that will be behind closed doors.
“I don’t think anybody is contemplating this as the ideal long-term solution – sport would wither on the vine quite quickly if that were the case.
“But that may well be a compromise we have to make in order to get the athletes back into competition, leagues finished, at least some kind of competition.”
World Athletics is encouraging the member federations to stage their national championships between August 8 and 9 2020. And all are expected to employ all the needed safety and precautionary measures against the Civid-19 pandemic.