Ibrahim Galadima: Sports Will Struggle to Recover From COVID-19 Disruption
Ibrahim Galadima
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Ibrahim Galadima: Sports Will Struggle to Recover From COVID-19 Disruption

Felix Egbomuche

Felix Egbomuche

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic on sports will take a while before it goes away. This is according to the former Chairman of the then Nigeria Football Association, Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima.

The Patron of Nigeria Olympics Committee, NOC, in a chat with ‘Daily Trust’, on Wednesday, said that although sports would suffer, it was in the best interest of everyone that activities were halted.

Countries across the world and even international sports organisations have had to suspend a number of events while some others have been moved forward to next year.

Some football clubs in Europe are reportedly already cutting down on players’ wages due to the financial loss the pandemic has caused and Galadima believes it would even have a tougher effect on the athletes who depend on remunerations to carter for their families.

"The emergence of coronavirus is something that is beyond sports. It has touched on global economy and this is going to have serious effect on sports and our ways of life,” Galadima stated.

"If we take what is happening in Europe where clubs are cutting down on players salaries, we would see that it clearly portends danger because these players depend on salaries they draw from football to maintain their families.

"It will also affect future negotiations of new signings and even the possibility of maintaining the agreed remunerations for the players.

"Beyond economic implications, the suspensions would also affect the conclusion of the different football leagues as their calendars have been altered.

"In Nigerian football, it may be a repeat of what happened last season where we had to go through an abridged version of the league to conclude the season on time.

"The difference will be that this time it is a necessity that forced a global shutdown and not what we had the last time which was largely because of inefficient handling of the football calendar."

The founder of NPFL side, Kano Pillars Football Club, while expressing optimism about the world overcoming the hard times, also noted that athletes should be ready for a congested schedule when the action returns later in the year.

"We have no option but to continue to obey instructions on how to survive the deadly virus so that we can get back to normalcy.

"At the end of the day, it is the athletes who would suffer most because they would have so many competitions to attend within a short period.

"It will be a tight schedule for athletes not only in Nigeria but the whole world," the 68-year-old concluded.

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