World sport is slowly coming back to life, starting with the German football league.
Even though it was the first major event to get back on the field after COVID-19, the rest of the world may not be able to use the Bundesliga’s blueprint — with different situations and rules in place in different countries.
“Germany was hit hard by the coronavirus, but the death rate was not very high. We tried to bring football back, and get back to normal general life,” said Peer Naubert, Head of Marketing of Bundesliga, in an interaction about the “New Normal in sports”, by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
“The measures by the German government were right, and the national health system was strong. Everyone played their part in the restart, and we are going match by match. It is still a fragile situation,” conceded Naubert.
He emphasised the importance of players to sticking to the rules and staying healthy, while being happy to be back on the pitch.
JSW Sports CEO Mustafa Ghouse said it was important to be in constant touch with the athletes and calm them down. “The athletes have pent up energy. We have to ensure that they don’t over exert on return. Since, there are not too many high level competition till the end of the year, we can plan slowly increasing their training load,” he said.
With so many football leagues reviving around the world, Ghouse said there would be enough examples for the ISL to follow when it starts in October.
Touching on the economic situation, the IOA president Narinder Batra said cricket and football left only 5 to 7% of the sponsorship money to be shared by about 58 disciplines, and that the government had assured support for main sports till the Commonwealth and Asian Games in 2022.
Pointing out that the world economy had taken a huge hit during lockdown, Ghouse said, “we are mentally prepared for the tough road”.