Sporting events in Indonesia are returning and here’s what’s going on as of May 20th 2020.
The Indonesian sports industry is implementing new strategies (“New Normal”) to continue competition for the remainder of the sports season. Indonesia and the rest of the world are eager to make realistic adjustments for the survival of their sports teams. More importantly, keeping their athletes, officials, and fans coronavirus-free during the never-ending pandemic.
Three-sport industries have shut down since the pandemic. The League 1 soccer competition 2020, Indonesia Basketball League (IBL), and Proliga volleyball competition. In addition, the Indonesian Open badminton tournament also experienced delays. Indonesian fans are missing their sports, especially football, and are looking for answers.
Recently, USA’s Ultimate Fighting Championship and Germany’s Bundesliga were amongst the first to return to the sports world. Fans have waited over 3 months to get their first glimpse of a real live sport. On May 9th, UFC’s Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza tested positive for COVID-19 as well as his two cornermen during his weigh-in.
Also, Bundesliga’s 36 teams test their players for the coronavirus several times a week. So far, 10 out of 1,700 footballers and staff, had tested positive by May 4th.
While countries around the world emulate these two teams, one has to wonder if we are moving a little too quickly. Spectators around the world continue to watch these competitions closely, waiting to see what happens next. not the score of the game, but COVID-19’s death toll.
Meanwhile, the sports industry in Indonesia still plans to run, but it is hard right now. Without fans at the game, why even play? And it’s costly too, most contracts for teams to pay their players at least 25% for their salary no matter what. Moreover, sponsors and revenues from commercial rights will slow significantly. Without fans showing up to games, who will want to sponsor their teams?
Despite evidence of players and staff testing positive for the coronavirus, IBL’s Managing Director, Junas Miradiarsyah, decided to end the remainder of this season and head straight for the playoffs. However, the competition will resume after receiving the green light from the government. They are skipping the regular series and going directly into the playoffs starting in September and finishing in October.
Under strict government orders, competitions will undergo a high standard health protocol before each game while competing against other countries without spectators. Sports will be very different without spectators, but at least there will still be sports for the time being. The sports industry is definitely putting up a fight. The conditions are hitting hard but there is no reason to give up let alone sports. Sports is not just competition but also a way of life for many.
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Photos and story: by Gerald Winik