A man on a paddle board takes a dog on a ride on Mordialloc Beach in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, April 9, 2020, while he observes regulations on social distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19 (Michael Dodge / AAP Image via AP)
Australia is not doing better or worse than other countries that have been robbed of their professional sport due to the new corona virus. Which is probably surprising in itself.
This is a nation proud of its sporting competitions and love of sport. At this time of year, there should be measures in the three main soccer codes: the National Rugby League and Australian Rules Football, and the final stages of the Super Rugby tournament.
All of these competitions were postponed indefinitely when Australia went into protection mode: the first included social distancing and bans on international travel; Then arriving passengers are forced to spend 14 days in isolation. Then all shops and services except the essential, and finally ban travel between states, unless these travelers also spent 14 days in isolation.
"There is no doubt that we all miss our sport, but overall this virus must take precedence over our health and wellbeing," said Ken Anderson, who runs a news agency on the state's Sunshine Coast with his wife Kaye Queensland.
Anderson played cricket at a level high enough that it had been signed by a New Zealand province 40 years ago, and he still plays on over 60 Masters teams. Now the former Melbourne resident particularly loves his Essendon AFL team. If the bombers win, he will wear the team's jersey in his shop the next day.
This jersey may need to be placed in mothballs for a while.
The AFL season was suspended until at least May 31, with the league hierarchy already reducing the campaign to 17 rounds. Only one round was played before the season was interrupted.
Some clubs originally proposed a possible return to training on May 4th, but Carlton boss Cain Liddle said he anticipated further delays.
"We were pretty honest with our players and we think these timeframes are probably a bit ambitious at this point," Liddle told Seven on Monday.
In the meantime, the Blues have asked to be an "assisted" club so that they can receive financial support from the AFL. They are no different from other down-under professional sports teams looking for financial support, with top-level executives cutting wages and many players doing the same.
The National Rugby League has the most ambitious plan to return, hoping to resume the competition on May 28, but only in the state of New South Wales. This would force teams from outside the state to stay away from their families for the duration of the season, as they could only return after 14 days of quarantine.
The NRL received little support on Tuesday from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Morrison said the NRL would not make "special arrangements" to begin its season by the end of May and warned against doing things too quickly.
“I like ambition. I like it when they try to get the show back on the road somehow, ”said Morrison, an avid rugby fan. "It will be subject to health advice and there will be no special arrangements."
Morrison's comments raise serious doubts about the likelihood that the New Zealand Warriors will be granted an exit permit for Australia. The New Zealand club will have to fly into the country by next Thursday if the NRL clubs are to train for three weeks before the scheduled resumption on May 28th.
Australian cricket is mostly off-season, but Cricket Australia announced last week that a scheduled two-test tour of Bangladesh was over in June.
Australia is expected to host the Twenty20 World Cup with 16 teams from October 18 to November 15, but former test captain Allan Border does not believe it can take place if the audience is not in the stands.
International travel restrictions and quarantine times are challenging if expected to persist in October. Almost 6,400 Australians were infected with the virus, and 61 died late Monday.
“I just can't imagine playing in empty stadiums. It defies belief, ”said Border. "Teams, support staff, and everyone else involved in the game wander the country and play cricket, but you can't let people into the grounds." I just can't see it.
"Either you play it and everyone just goes on with the job and we have this pandemic behind us. Or you try to install it somewhere else."
More news about the new corona virus can be found here.
What You Need to Know About Corona Virus.
For more information on COVID-19, please contact the DOH hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.
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