Good Friday Morning Caps fans—a rainy day here, perhaps God’s way of telling me not to go outside.
Not too much to report these days! While there appear to be glimmers of hope arising, as we begin to look with an eye towards re-opening some facets of our states and country, that has not extended to sports.
Don’t get me wrong, the NFL and WNBA drafts worked just fine in a pinch but it isn’t quite the same.
Hope appears to be on the horizon, with countries less hard hit by the virus or which have already seen their peak starting to roll out plans to play matches.
Germany, meanwhile, is making plans to resume play in the Bundesliga on May 9, with training having resumed some time ago in that country. The plan is to get players to be as hygenic as possible and test players regularly for the virus, with some even saying masks should be worn during matches.
Not everyone, however, is happy.
“It’s an insult to society,” a nationwide coalition of ultra groups wrote in a statement, “and in particular to those fighting Covid-19 on a daily basis. Professional football has long been sick and should still be in quarantine.”
You can kind of see their point—is it really the best idea to be burning tests on footballers, even though that accounts for a small fraction of a nation’s testing capacity. What kind of message does it send to everyone else about what a society values?
I do get, however, that the entertainment provided by sport could be of great value to people during this time. And I think there is a general understanding among observers that the Bundesliga experiment could go swimmingly or it could blow up in their faces and the league will be forced to shut down play again after a couple weeks—it is hard to say.
Officials in Spain, for instance, nixed a similar plan hatched by La Liga officials to resume play and it sounds as though matches in that country, as well as France, will not have spectators until 2021—at the earliest.
LaLiga ambitious plans to test players as soon as Tuesday, and start return to training soon after under strict social distancing protocols has been nixed by Spain’s health ministry. All still some time away it seems.— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) April 24, 2020
Elsewhere, the K League is set to return May 8, officials announced this morning. That country has largely marched on from their brush with COVID-19 and while matches in Korea will not have fans, it will be potentially be a good chance for it to gain some exposure in the west.
I mean, wouldn’t you tune in to see who the next Korean youngster the Caps will scout will be? It would work even better on the west coast, with a somewhat less pronounced time difference—finally a time zone win for you west coasters out there.
I’m no expert on other nation’s public health systems. You hope that the best decision is made weighing player and worker safety with a reasonable desire to resume matches. In the meantime, I’ll watch whatever league goes live first with great pleasure, happy for some reminder that things will, eventually, get better.
Onto the links:
Best of the Rest
Some updates on ticket refunds, courtesy of The Province. Sounds like people are having better luck elsewhere getting refunds from Ticketmaster than I am grrrr
If you could blow up MLS and restart it today, what would it look like? The Athletic tries their hand (hint: it does not involve the Caps in the first division)
FIFPro is (rightfully) concerned about player mental health during the pandemic