Wed | May 27, 2020

Don’t be hasty resuming football – Wright

Published:Monday | April 6, 2020 | 12:26 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Portmore United’s Tevin Shaw (right) clashes with Waterhouse’s Stephen Williams during their Red Stripe Premier League game at the Spanish Town Prison Oval on Sunday, November 10, 2019.
Portmore United’s Tevin Shaw (right) clashes with Waterhouse’s Stephen Williams during their Red Stripe Premier League game at the Spanish Town Prison Oval on Sunday, November 10, 2019.

Sports Medicine Specialist Dr Paul Wright says that it would be sensible for global football officials to wait until the end of July or early August before deciding whether to cancel or complete their respective leagues and competitions.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought major football tournaments around the world to a complete stop, with many countries putting their leagues on indefinite suspension. This is with the hope that the virus will be contained or controlled in time for the seasons to be resumed and be completed.

But Wright believes that it is too early to cancel any league and that football decision makers should give it some more time before calling it quits for this season.

“I think those [leagues] can be salvaged,” he said. “Look at it at the end of June.

“Right now, we should think about the health of the people involved, not only players, but fans, sponsors, and the media. So by the end of June, we should have a good idea of what is going on. So we should look at August-September before we think about resumption of the different leagues.”

Wright says that the Belgian League, the first to be cancelled because of the COVID-19 outbreak, was a bit premature, and he argued that other fans and sponsors should be given more time to see if their season can be salvaged. He says it is an arduous task for players to keep fit on their own and stay motivated without any idea of when competitions will be resumed.

“I am just not sure (how it will affect players),” he says. “So in the interim, it’s what we do with the players. They will have to look at their fitness. They should be able to resume a programme at the end of July or August so they can get back their full fitness. But how they stay fit (during the period) and look after their own health is very important. So, I would say look at your own fitness and make sure everyone is in good health before you think of resuming.”

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com