One of the major solutions to the current health epidemic with regards to football is to potentially play behind closed doors.
It’s something that’s widely been thrown up on social media and, with Scottish football currently shutdown, would perhaps be a sensible way to go about things in many fans’ minds and indeed other football organisations.
The A-League in Australia have today announced that they will start playing matches behind closed doors and have also compressed the schedule.
However, the recent statement by PFA Scotland Chief Executive Fraser Wishart suggests we can forget that happening here. He said the following after the shutdown of football in Scotland was confirmed by the SFA/SPFL joint response group.
“There had been some suggestions of playing games behind closed doors, but last night I informed the SPFL of our Management Committee’s position that if the supporters are not allowed in, our members should not be asked to put their health and safety at risk by playing games behind closed doors. Player safety must be treated the same as that of supporters and the wider population.
“The virus is transmitted via touch and bodily fluids and even behind closed doors players would have been at risk given football is a contact sport and players would come into contact with others sweat.
“This would have been unacceptable, and I am glad the authorities considered this in their decision making. There could also have been implications for our part-time members and their daily employment.”
Wishart’s point is valid
Nobody knows exactly how many cases there are with regards to football players in Scotland. In fact, the same goes for all staff at every professional club in the country. Cases of the virus are growing by the day, so we don’t know for sure.
Playing games behind closed doors does limit players’ contact with fans. However, as Wishart says, they’ll be coming into contact with each other. Who knows whether a certain player has the virus and spreads it to other players who then do the same in their match the next week.
We’re sometimes at the risk of forgetting that footballers are human. Almost as if they’re robots who aren’t entitled to the same care we give to our own health.
It couldn’t be further from the truth. And after this particular statement from PFA Scotland, you can forget the SFA/SPFL coming up with an agreement to play games behind closed doors.
If they still went ahead with it despite this urge from Wishart, it would simply put them under real scrutiny. The last thing we need here is more panic and divide.
With PFA Scotland, who represent the players’ best interests, coming out with something like this – there’s no way we’ll see closed-door games anytime soon as we look to wrap up nine-in-a-row.