Athletes will show off their skills on the field, and spectators will enjoy sitting in the gallery. Such a picture is normal. However, the coronavirus pandemic have taken away this reality.
However, the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) has turned the visitors back to the gallery. Country’s cricket board did not ignore the pictures of the spectators on the football field. But their world of thought is a little different.
Bangladesh returned to international football after defeating Nepal 2-0 in front of spectator filled gallery at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Friday.
BFF had released 8,000 tickets for the two friendly matches between Nepal and Bangladesh following the hygiene rules. But the spectator presence in the first match was more than that. Coach Jamie Day at the end of the match said that the footballers were inspired by the presence of spectators on the field. However, the spectator filled gallery amid spike in coronavirus cases in the country raises question whether this decision was a wise one or not.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nizamuddin Chowdhury told the media that they had no plans to emulate BFF’s spectators’ policy. “We have no plans at the moment to allow spectators in the stadium. But we will discuss this. We need to check if there is any health risk to it. It does not depend on us as we need to consider the overall situation. We need to think of the consequences as well,” he said.
Public health is a priority for us. We cannot put that at risk. It is a good thing that BFF has taken the initiative. But we need to consider the next steps too. If we let people in, then the stadium might be jam-packed as everyone will get to enjoy a live cricket match after a long time. If we want, we can do it. But we need to consider if we are endangering public health by letting people in,” added Nizamuddin.
However, he did not rule out the possibility of allowing spectators inside the stadium. The BCB will talk among themselves about the BFF incident. They will also talk to the health department of the government, “We will discuss among ourselves and we will talk to the policy makers of the government on this issue. Then we will make a decision.”
The five-team Bangabandhu T20 Cup is scheduled to start in the last week of this month. In the meantime, the players have been drafted, all the teams have been formed.