Moneycontrol

Budget 2021

Associate Partners:

  • SMC
  • Samsung
  • Volvo

Moneycontrol

Budget 2021

Associate Partners:

  • SMCSamsungVolvo
Webinar :Register now for Commodity Ki Paathshala webinar on ‘FPOs & Agriculture Marketing-The Beginning of a New Era’ on January 22, 4pm
you are here: HomeNewsTrendsSports

Coronavirus pandemic | Lessons football leagues can learn from China as CSL faces difficult return

The problems faced by China, one of the first countries to suspend football and the epicentre of the pandemic, could be a glimpse into the future for other leagues called off around the world.

March 27, 2020 / 12:32 PM IST

With nagging concerns about coronavirus sweeping through teams and players scattered across the world, unable or hesitant to return, China is finding that restarting football is no simple matter.

The problems faced by China, one of the first countries to suspend football and the epicentre of the pandemic, could be a glimpse into the future for other leagues called off around the world.

The Chinese Super League (CSL) was a harbinger of the collapse of global sport when officials announced in January that the February 22 start date had been indefinitely postponed.

Last week there were claims that with the peak of coronavirus -- which emerged in China in December -- seemingly over in the country, the CSL could start on April 18. May 2 was also mentioned.

But then came the first confirmed coronavirus case in Chinese football, a Brazilian in the second tier, one of a wave of imported cases that has put China on alert for a second virus emergency.

Close

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

View more
How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

View more
Show

And on March 23 former Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini, now with Shandong Luneng, said he had tested positive, becoming the first known case in the CSL.

On March 26 the respected Soccer News said the season has now been pushed back to late May or early June.

However, tough government restrictions announced later on March 26 that partially seal off China, reducing international flights and barring foreigners, throw even those dates into question.

Suggestions that basketball, the other major sport in China, could restart in early April have also fizzled out, dealing a blow to government attempts to portray China as getting back to normal.

"If more cases occur in the future, the date of the Chinese Super League restart will be postponed again," Soccer News warned.

Both Fellaini -- one of the biggest names in Chinese football -- and Brazilian forward Dorielton tested positive for the coronavirus after returning from abroad.

- Bakambu's baby dilemma -

===========================

Foreign leagues suspended by coronavirus will be watching how the CSL fares in getting off the ground, but the lingering threat of infections is not the only barrier.

Chinese teams are training for the new campaign but numerous foreign players and coaches are still in their home nations and face being locked out the country.

Late on March 26, China slashed the number of international flights and said that even foreigners with valid visas and resident permits will be blocked from entering after midnight on March 28.

Some of the CSL's most expensive players, including the Brazilians Oscar, Hulk and Paulinho, face a race against time.

With global travel badly disrupted, wealthier clubs could charter planes to fetch their foreign stars. But it appears inevitable that some will miss the March 28 deadline.

Those that do return will then need to go into isolation for a fortnight in case they are infected, adding another delay.

They would then need time to get fit for the rigours of a condensed campaign.

Congolese striker Cedric Bakambu gave an insight into the dilemmas players confront balancing their professional and personal obligations at a worrying time.

The 28-year-old has been ordered back to CSL runners-up Beijing Guoan, which would mean leaving his heavily pregnant wife behind in France.

Bakambu said that even though China is now considered safer than Europe, overseas players in China face the prospect of not seeing their families for several months if they go back -- he risks missing the birth of his second child.

"Knowing that I must leave without knowing when I can come back to see my son and my wife, who is due to give birth in a month, this is what is most difficult to live with," he told L'Equipe.
PTI
first published: Mar 27, 2020 12:32 pm

stay updated

Get Daily News on your Browser
Sections