Stormers coach John Dobson has opened up on the ‘scary’ and widespread concerns following the immense impact of the coronavirus.
Sanzaar announced on Saturday that it had no option’ but to suspend the 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby tournament at the conclusion of this weekend’s matches for the foreseeable future.
The decision not only followed the global trend of sporting events and leagues being put on hold, but was also in response to the announcement by the New Zealand Government that all returning travellers will have to self-isolate for 14 days, including Super Rugby players in a bid to slow down the spreading of the deadly Covid-19 virus.
In the latest update from the governing body, Chief Executive Andy Marinos has revealed that Super Rugby must resume in five weeks or face the season being scrapped.
If it comes down to option two, Dobson says he fears that it could have ever-lasting consequences on the future of the competition.
‘I’m not the World Health Organisation, but because of the reaction to it [Covid-19], I hope it’s properly thought through because it’s going to have cataclysmic effects on some peoples lives. People are going to lose their jobs and and that really scares me,’ Dobson lamented.
‘We are not the [football] English Premiership League. And I don’t know what the quantum is if Super Rugby doesn’t resume, but I suspect it’s between a R10 million to R20 million loss. I don’t know if we can absorb it as an industry and the guys [players] have genuinely got job concerns now.
‘We [the Stormers] were supposed to play in Argentina next week and I just don’t know why 30 players can’t get scanned, stay in isolation and get scanned 48 hours before the game, get cleared and play. At least then the broadcasters would have something to show and you [the press] would have something to write about. It’s very disappointing and that probably puts a heavier pull on losing today. It’s the bigger picture, I’m afraid.
‘It feels funereal for everybody. I think the tragic consequence of the reaction to this virus is going to see probably more hardships and death than the actual virus, in the way that jobs and the economy are going to be effected. That is my greatest concern.
‘I’m not going to lecture you on it, but I just feel that this is going to affect poor people in a horrible way and I hope political correctness hasn’t gone too far. I understand that it’s about safety, but if you ask our players or the Sharks players to play tomorrow, I’m sure they would all say yes, so yeah, it’s sad.’
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