Back

World Health Organization Advises Against Large Crowds At Sporting Events

W
orld Health Organization (WHO) emergencies director, Michael Ryan, said in a live online discussion it could be “disastrous” to allow tens of thousands of people to attend live sports due to COVID-19.

Ryan said countries still affected by ‘community-level transmission’ of COVID-19 are most at risk and should be careful for a long time.

Large crowds of 40, 50, 60,000 people, it’s not just the risk of being in the stadium, it’s the risk of going to the stadium, the public transport, the bars and the clubs,” Ryan told AFP.

“Imagine all the problems we have now with nightclubs and bars, and you squeeze all of that together into a four-or-five-hour experience, where thousands of people go on the same public transport to a venue, get involved in the social aspects before a game, be involved in the game and then all of the social aspects after.

“In the context of community transmission, that could be disastrous.

“We may have to expect that as things open up, we go from having no one at the games to maybe 1,000 and 2,000.

“We all want our sport back.

“We’re just going to have to be careful for a good bit longer.

“It’s very unrealistic in countries with community transmission that we’re going to be seeing large gatherings like that this year.

“Right now, it’s hard to see those fully re-opened venues,” he said.

Ryan did not address the sports around the world, including Australia, that have held sporting events with fans in attendance, but stressed this should be done under strict anti-virus guidelines with careful consideration to numbers allowed.