Note: Our Round-up on April 16, 2020, erroneously reported that the three new Covid-19 cases which were discovered among workers in Qatar was at the Al-Janoub Stadium. The new cases were spread across the Al Bayt and Al Rayyan Stadium. The report has been corrected to reflect this. The mistake is regretted.
FIFPro, the worldwide representative organisation for 65,000 professional footballers said that there has been a significant increase in the number of players showing symptoms of depression as sport remains on a hiatus following the Covid-19 pandemic.
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The FIFPro study of 1,602 professional players was conducted between March 22 and April 14 at the Amsterdam University Medical Centre. The study discovered that 22% of 468 female players and 13% of 1,314 males players reported symptoms of depression, anxiety, lack of appetite and lack of self esteem. It was also said that 18% of the women and 16% of men reported markers of generalised anxiety.
Due to the current lockdown, many footballers have reported worries over interruptions in their work life and have also shown concerns over the future of their careers.
The survey of players took place in 16 countries: Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Denmark, England, Finland, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Scotland, South Africa, Switzerland and the United States.
Some clubs like Arsenal have provided psychological consultations for their players. Manager Mikel Arteta said that the club psychologist has been in constant communication with players to offer any help they may need during the lockdown.
Leagues Ready to Go behind Closed Doors
In an interview with Italian daily Corriere della Sera, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said that leagues across Europe were ready to return to action behind closed doors in order to curb the damage the suspension has caused.
“I believe there are options that can allow us to restart Cup Championships and to complete them,” Ceferin said. “It is early to say that we cannot complete the season. The impact would be terrible for clubs and leagues. Better to play behind closed doors than not at all.”
“In such hard times it would bring happiness to people and a certain sense of normality even if the games can only be seen on TV,” Ceferin added. “All activities are being organised to start again, everyone needs to find their lives.”
Meanwhile, the Guangzhou R&F CEO Huang Shenghua has said that the Chinese Super League (CSL) which was originally scheduled to kick off on February 22, looks set to start its new season at the end of June or in early July and without having to shorten the campaign.
Resuming Football and Healthcare Burden
Representative image: The Allianz Arena in Germany (Pic: Twitter, Coral)
The president of the German Football Association, Fritz Keller, stated in Kicker magazine that resumption of football will not be a burden for health workers.
“We guarantee that resuming play … will not cause a burden for the healthcare system,” Keller said. “There will be no use by sportspeople of testing capacity which would be missed elsewhere.”
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Top league games have not been played in Germany since March 11. The German league seems much more optimistic than any other major European competitions about resuming games in May or June while conducting coronavirus tests for players. It is partly due to fear of clubs facing financial collapse without broadcasters and sponsorship money.
Kelly added that unified rules for football around the country would help clubs “quickly and without bureaucracy.”
Aguero Teaches Spanish
Sergio Aguero (Pic: Twitter, BBC Sport)
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has been teaching British kids how to speak Spanish in his spare time during lockdown. Aguero has been signed up by the BBC in light of its home-school initiative as educational institutions remain shut following the coronavirus pandemic.
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The Argentina international has been teaching kids how to count in Spanish. His lesson became available on the day kids in Britain usually return to their schools after the Easter holidays.
“It’s a tough time for children at the moment, and also for parents trying to keep them focused on their education from home,” he said.
Clubs Shouldn't be Relegated: Brighton Owner
Premier League club Brighton and Hove Albion’s owner Tony Bloom said if the season has to be ended then relegation might need to be scrapped. As the Premier League table stands, Brighton are on 29 points, two points above the relegation zone .
“I don’t foresee a situation, if the season’s not played out, that teams will get relegated on a points-per-game basis,” Bloom told the BBC.
“I just don’t think it’s fathomable that a team which is not allowed to play out the season may lose out on 0.2 points based on this system, and also it does not take into account the strength of the team you have not played.” he added
There are nine matches yet to be played by each club in the Premier League. There has also been speculation about the potential cutoff date of June 30 for the league to restart.
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