Ebola epidemic and Africa’s sporting sector




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ebolaThe outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Africa is no longer news. With safety precautions advised across the continent, the fears of an epidemic appear to be strong. Primarily prevalent in some West African nations, the virus is spread through close contact with human body fluids and this raises a concern for sportsmen and in Africa.
Sports generally involve exertions which result in a lot of sweating. With sweat being one of the possible contact points of the deadly virus, the heightened fears within the sports sector across the continent may be justified.
Some countries have already taken critical and decisive measures in an attempt to prevent increased spreading of the virus. Seychelles have announced their withdrawal from an AFCON qualifier against Sierra Leone over fears that their players could contract the disease while on international duty despite playing the game in Seychelles’ capital city Victoria. The decision to cancel the game has been categorized as rash but with Sierra Leone being one of the worst hit in the outbreak, Seychelles Federation chief Elvis Chetty hs defended the decision terming it as a necessary one. “This is a case of force majeure…it is not our decision to stop the match,” Chetty said. “We can face sanctions and we also have to deal with the financial implications.”
Similarly, Liberia has shut down its national football league in a bid to prevent the rapid transmission of the deadly virus. The aim concern for the Liberian authorities is to prevent the gathering of massive crowds as football is one of the countries most popular sports.[eap_ad_2]
There could be more decisions such as these as substantiated fears over the virus continue to increase. Continental competitions such as the CAF Champions League and Confederations Cup could suffer from withdrawals and attendances, and should more leagues and sports-meets be shut down, the adverse effects could result in loss of earnings both for sportsmen and corporate investors.
With the All African Games, also known as Africa’s , to be staged in the Republic of Congo, the country where Ebola was discovered next year, a failure to curtail the virus could result in unpleasant circumstances for African sports as the event could possibly face multiple withdrawals and worst still, outright cancellation.
So far, the air travel industry has been feeling the strain of the virus as more countries continue to issue travel warnings, the sports industry which is relatively fragile could also be hit. Losses of possible winnings, TV audience - however meager as well as poor attendances could all severely dent the growth of an industry that has notoriously struggled for financial vibrancy. With its weakened infrastructure and lack of consistent funding, the Ebola epidemic could affect Africa’s sports sector. (VENTURES AFRICA)[eap_ad_3]