Whilst COVID-19 has dramatically impacted the world of sport with fixtures and competitions cancelled or rescheduled, some sports are slowly but surely looking to get back up and running.
UFC President Dana White announced he is close to securing a private island which can play host to fights amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. With most countries tightening travel restrictions and borders, White plans to use the private island to fly in fighters who otherwise would not be allowed into the United States.
The organisation was forced to postpone three events in recent months, but White says the calendar will resume for international fights this month: “As of April 18, the UFC is back up and running,”
White said the UFC will be “pumping out fights every week” but fighters will be regularly tested for coronavirus and there will be no fans at the events.
“We’re going to make sure that athletes, referees, my production people, that everybody there is going to be healthy before, during and after the fights,” he said.
Whilst a private island is suitable for some sports, the iconic Tour de France cannot relocate to an island for its summer event. The Tour was moved from its original start date in late June to a new Grand Départ in Nice on 29 August, following the banning of any large public events until 11 July by the French president, Emmanuel Macron.
The world of European football is also trying to rekindle some normality after campaigns and tournaments were postponed. Bayern Munich were among a number of Bundesliga clubs to return to training for the first time since matches were suspended on 13 March.
In the UK, the leaders of football, cricket, rugby and horse racing are examining the possibility of having sport played in “bio-secure” venues, with a ban on spectators and a strict limit on the number allowed to work at the event.
Ashley Giles, the Managing Director of England men’s cricket, said that the search for bio-secure venues may mean the national team would have to limit the number of grounds they play at, if and when international cricket can start this summer: “It’s the idea of almost trying to keep a bubble around a team and broadcasters and everyone else for a long period. That is a complicated scenario.”
Photo credit: european pressphoto agency’