It is obvious that the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc.
That is stating the obvious.
And while countries and societies grapple with controlling the pandemic, there is also an obvious need to look at the possibility that COVID-19 is here to stay.
Without a doubt, the Malaysian government has done an excellent job of curtailing the continued widespread of the virus when they introduced the first lockdown back in mid-March.
From then on, there have been several extensions of the lockdown or MCO (Movement Control Order) and without realising it, we are already moving into the month of June in a few days.
This meant that Malaysians have been trapped in their house for over two months.
And while the government has relaxed the MCO somewhat in an effort to jump start the economy, little attention has been paid to addressing the issue with sports.
The only decision which has been made thus far is igniting the Road to Tokyo programme.
What about football?
Football is a multi-million ringgit industry and it is not good enough for the government to just say a flat ‘NO’ to restart the game which is considered as the No. 1 sport in the country.
The German Bundesliga was restarted earlier this month and so was the Korean K.League.
And the most popular league in the world – the English Premier League – will restart on 17 June 2020 – all without spectators.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was lauded for making the brave decision to bring back football to the masses in the midst of the pandemic.
And the Malaysian government must look at doing the same thing too.
Football should be allowed to restart provided they adhere to strict health guidelines with no spectators and limiting the number of players and officials at the matches.
They should allow the FAM to come up with clear guidelines as other countries had done.
Thus far, Vietnam is the only country to have allowed fans back into the stadium when they started the National Cup last week and then the V.League to get back into action early next month.
Perhaps, Vietnam realised or understood the human spirit only too well – the need for joy in the midst of all this negativity as a result of the pandemic.
And while scientists still grapple to come up with a cure let alone a vaccine, living with this pandemic is a stark reality.
So why not bring the Malaysian Super League back into our living rooms?
- BY WATTANA