The coronavirus outbreak has put an end to all the sporting activities in the foreseeable future. The much-anticipated IPL 2020 was also indefinitely postponed because of the dire situation in the country. And looking at the way things are currently shaping up, sporting action doesn't seem to be resuming anytime soon.
Several sporting associations across the world are considering conducting the matches in front of empty stands. Bundesliga is the first top tier league, which is expected to resume in May in front of empty stands.
Former India footballer Bhaichung Bhutia has an entirely different view of the resumption of sporting activities in the country. Bhaichung Bhutia has called for footballing action to resume when things get just a little better even if it means playing in front of empty stands.
In an interview with The Times of India, Bhaichung Bhutia cited this as an opportunity to attract viewers towards football as there is very little of sport available live on TV and football hasn't reached its potential yet in India. Bhaichung Bhutia added that he isn't asking for the sport to be resumed during this crisis, but if the government allows the games to be played behind closed doors, the opportunity shouldn't be missed.
However, AIFF vice-president Subrata Dutta was not on the same page as Bhaichung Bhutia. He said even if one allows only TV crew and journalists inside the stadium, there will be more than a hundred people. That means there would be lesser guarantee of any one of them having symptoms of COVID-19.. Dutta also said if something happens, the entire stadium will be sealed. He also said that fans are the lifeblood of Indian football and gate receipts do matter for the health of the sport.
The ISL final, which happened not long ago, was also played behind closed doors but Dutta said that can’t be the norm. He added that was a one-off instance. Dutta also said that the derby in Kolkata between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan didn’t happen the following day and added that there is no point in rushing into anything now.
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly doesn't seem too pleased with the idea of playing behind closed doors. While speaking to The Times Of India, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly said that the social reality of Germany and India are completely different from each other. Sourav Ganguly added that there will be no cricketing action in India in the near future.
Sourav Ganguly further said that conducting cricket matches inside closed doors is an improbable idea as of now. He concluded that there are too many ifs and buts involved and added that he doesn't believe in the sport when there's human risk involved.