Coronavirus: Tennis & golf likely to return before football – Prof Leitch


Scottish Golf asked participants to “refrain from golfing until further notice” last month due to coronavirus

Recreational sports such as tennis and golf will likely be first to resume in Scotland, but restarting football is a “difficult challenge”, says national clinical director Jason Leitch.

Professor Leitch told BBC Radio Scotland a “considered and gradual” return of sport is required.

However, professional football – even behind closed doors – is problematic due to the numbers required to run it.

“Large-scale events are harder. They’re very difficult,” said Leitch.

The return of sporting events in Scotland is to be discussed on 5 May after sports minister Joe Fitzpatrick invited the Scottish FA, the SPFL, Scottish Rugby and Sportscotland to discuss potential solutions.

However, Leitch believes there’s a notable difference between sports that can maintain a degree of social distancing and team pursuits.

Speaking to Good Morning Scotland, he said: “Some sports, which are clearly physically distanced and are maybe outdoors, will be able to do that.

“Others will be more challenging. I can’t imagine snooker will be back first but you imagine something like tennis or golf might be back a little bit sooner.

“The number of people that have to go to football games, even to run them behind closed doors, is significant.

“So I think that will be a very gradual and difficult challenge for us. The public health advice will be to do it as soon as it’s safe to do so and we will give them that advice and then the sports authorities will have to make that decision.”



BBC News

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