From Euro 2020 to the Olympics, fans spill the chai.
By The Masala Team
The Euro 2020‘s kicked off, this year’s cricket ODIs are in full swing, and the Summer Olympic Games are just around the corner – but are we finally in the home stretch of the pandemic, or have we jumped the gun? While professional athletes have been tested for COVID more than any other group, a few have recently tested positive for the virus even after vaccinations, and fans are split over whether their beloved games should shoot their shot, or not. We’ve asked community members to weigh in.
SHIVEK THAKRAL, Business owner
“As someone who enjoys both playing football and watching it, I’ve currently been tuning into the Euro 2020 matches that have been going on. Although the pandemic is still a concern, I do believe that landmark sporting events like Euro and the upcoming Olympic Games should go ahead as planned as sports can bring together large groups of people and build positive spirit, which is what a lot of the world needs right now. Of course, I think all these events need to happen under strict rules and regulations to keep everyone safe, but I’m definitely someone that is enjoying the return of national football. It’s nice to be able to celebrate something, and what’s better than seeing fans at the stadiums now?”
MANSAHEJ SINGH GANDHI, Student at MUIC
“Sporting events play a huge role in the entertainment business, which people have sought out more than ever during this pandemic. However, we also have to think about the health of these players. Even with so many precautions, there are still many sportsmen testing positive with the virus. This puts at risk both their own teams and the ones they’re playing against, because of the close contact required in sports.
“Apart from that, having fans in person during a game plays a huge role, as without fans cheering for their favourite team, there is no joy in watching the sport. With the current situation, it is not worth the risk, and I personally feel it is not the right time for sporting events to resume.”
GAURIKA VASAN, Student at Chulalongkorn University
“Personally, I believe that holding landmark sporting events right now would negatively impact international communities, especially the citizens living in the host countries. For obvious reasons, these events pose substantial health and safety risks to those involved. On the other hand, I do understand the potential loss of economic opportunities, the undermining of efforts invested by sports teams, as well as lack of content for the entertainment industry. However, even if we assume that the parties involved are somehow able to strictly follow safety protocols, we have witnessed similar cases in the past that failed to resolve the problem of uncertainty in such times.
“Ultimately, the question comes down to whether we can afford to risk lives and underestimate uncertainties for economic, political, or personal benefits. Keeping this in mind, I strongly believe that sporting events should not take place until the pandemic dies down, or the majority of people have been vaccinated, at least in the host country.”
SAMAR SINGH, Grade 7 Student at KIS International School
“While sporting events are entertaining for those stuck at home, especially during the lockdowns, we also have to think about players that are putting themselves at risk even though they are vaccinated. If one player gets the virus, there’s a high chance that it will spread to other teams and their members as well. For large events such as Euro 2020 and the Olympics, this can put many people at risk. Many famous players have gotten COVID-19, and some have even died from it.
“I personally think that the Olympics should be postponed until the COVID-19 situation improves in most countries around the world, as Japan has invested so much time and effort into this event.”
NARIT SACHDEV, Businessman
“Landmark sporting events such as the Euros and the Olympics were postponed by a year because the health of the players is as important as us fans watching from home. However, in my opinion, if these events are given a green light by the government of the host countries, then it shouldn’t be an issue. For example, when domestic leagues resumed for football last summer, players got to vote on whether they felt safe to return, since they have their families to consider. The majority just wanted to be back on the pitch and do what they love doing. The players are given regular COVID tests, and even though fans have returned to stadiums, it isn’t up to full capacity due to restrictions.
“Lastly, during the lockdowns that most countries are going through, being able to watch major tournaments may be the best thing for the mental health of those stuck at home. To me, happiness is getting to watch the sport that you love and are so passionate about, as long as you support it safely.”