APRIL 2020

Sports federations show their support in fighting
the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

In the past few weeks, sports associations and athletes have come together to face the challenges related to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Together, they prove that creativity, teamwork and consideration for their audience are key to sports in general and particularly at challenging times.

There are examples from Brazil where football clubs are handing over their stadiums to enable health authorities to convert them into field hospitals and clinics, according to The Bangkok Post. Since football has been suspended until further notice, the majority of the football clubs in Brazil's Series A have given up their stadiums to support authorities in densely populated Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro seeking to expand hospital capacity.

In a show of support to the many fans confined to their homes, FIFA recently opened a video archive of more than 30 games from the FIFA World Cup and FIFA Women’s World Cup, some of which are available for the first time on FIFA.com, the FIFA YouTube channel and on Weibo in China. A live chat function on YouTube, as well as a voting function to crown the player of the match, and documentaries and interviews with renowned football players and coaches further increase engagement.

Meanwhile, the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) is supporting the popular #StayAtHome juggling challenge on Instagram. The posts show how top athletes are getting ready to compete again when football returns.

In motorsports, a number of F1 teams such as McLaren, Red Bull, Williams, Mercedes and Ferrari have offered their engineering capabilities to assist in the production of ventilators in the UK and Italy, reports the BBC.

And during a time when sports events around the world are being cancelled and postponed, e-sports are gaining traction. Nascar recently launched a new e-sports series, the eNascar iRacing Pro Invitational Series. The event, which took place on 22 March on the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway, was held on the simulation platform which is used by Nascar drivers to prepare for races. According to the new platform, new races and broadcast details are in the pipeline.

At a time when the challenges posed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is felt throughout the world of sports, the efforts by organisations and athletes around the world to stay positive and offer support where they can is crucial to stay relevant and emerge after the crisis with their audiences intact.

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