The Bundesliga in Germany has resumed behind closed doors while both the Premier League in England and La Liga in Spain are working towards a return to action. Both these leagues could be played without fans in the stadium, which could be the norm for sports in the foreseeable future and might be the case in the upcoming Indian football season as well.
India and Bengaluru FC captain Sunil Chhetri, however, feels that the first stage towards a resumption of sporting action after the lockdown is to ensure training restarts fully.
Sunil Chhetri on football games in closed stadiums
"The Korean League and Bundesliga are checking every player every single day before he trains. When they go to the match, they have already been tested that they have no virus. But you never know, because some can be asymptomatic. That's why, for a second layer of protection, they are saying don't hug each other, don't spit and stuff like that," he said in a webinar hosted by non-profit organisation Yuva.
"But I think the first stage is training only. Matches are only once a week, but you train every day. It's going to be 30 players minimum, 12 coaches, a ball boy and a kit man. Everybody is going back home, and you don't know who they are meeting. You don't know who they are mixing with. But then again, you have to start," Chhetri added.
Cricketers Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan, badminton star PV Sindhu and shooter Anjum Moudgil were other sports stars present in the webinar. Chhetri joked that the lack of fans in the stadium might expose the abusive language that football players use during matches.
"These superstars (Sindhu and Moudgil) play a game very nicely and they are very well-behaved, they don't abuse," Chhetri said.
"So if there are no fans, people will get to know our vocabulary of abuses. We utter nonsense, but we are allowed to say anything, except to the referee. We are dirty, we are ugly. If the fans are there, they are loud, and it (the abuse) all gets subdued. But if they're not there, my god..." He explains.