Whilst the country is suffering from the severe outbreak of deadly disease Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Indian sports industry has been taking all the required measures. Right from screening spectators at the time of entry to calling-off major games. However, in a new bid to avoid any further spread of the disease, the sports authorities have come up with the idea of organizing sports games behind closed doors.
Firstly, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) made a significant announcement regarding the organization of the cash-rich tournament, Indian T20 League. As per the latest notification, the tournament will now be held behind closed doors.
“We are keen to start the IPL on time even if it means without crowds,” a senior BCCI official told the media.
“It could be TV-only as it is a medical emergency and we can do nothing about that,” the source further added.
On the other hand, another major sport event that suffered a setback due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 includes the final match of Indian Football League. Scheduled to be played on March 14 between Kolkata and Chennai, the game will now be played behind closed doors without any spectators at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa.
The decision comes after a directive was released from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to the Indian Olympic Association (IOC), Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and all other national sporting bodies including the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
The letter stated "To deal with the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19), the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued advisories and advised the State Governments to take appropriate action under the Epidemic Diseases Act,1897.
"You are advised to adhere to the advisories issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and ensure that no public gathering takes place in any sporting event. In the event, the sporting event cannot be avoided, the same could be done without allowing gathering of people, including spectators.”
A meeting is yet to be held on March 14 wherein the officials will discuss about the schedule of the upcoming season of Indian T20 League.