Sports administrators around the world are scratching their heads about what to do next as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread.
The NBA has postponed all competition until further notice, while the Serie A, Premier League and Asian Champions League are among numerous competitions to suspend matches, or play behind closed doors.
While this level of severity is yet to reach Australia, esteemed sports physician Dr Peter Larkins believes it’s not long until it causes significant upheaval to our sporting landscape.
“We’re still evolving our knowledge of this and I think within the next 1-2 weeks in Australia, we’ll be really quite educated in terms of what stance we need to take”, he told Box2Box.
“I keep telling people I don’t get surprised by what happens in sport anymore, but this in particular has been an unprecedented topic”.
Dr Larkins explained that while containing illness within sport is not uncommon, the scale of coronavirus could feasibly see A-League, AFL and other sports take a similar path to that seen overseas.
“We’re aware athletes are always prone to getting an infection, when it’s a team environment, those people get isolated every season. But the coronavirus is another kettle of fish altogether in terms of how rampant it is”.
While handshakes between players has been restricted at some events, Dr Larkins stressed it is far likelier to be contracted via respiratory means.
“It’s spread from person-to-person primarily by respiratory inhalation, so you really have to have some contact with someone in terms of breathing the air, or coughing”.