Australia’s National Rugby League resumes after weeks of COVID-19 lockdown
Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) football competition has adopted stringent biosecurity measures and has built up a health check application for players. NRL is the first major sporting competition in Australia that resumes Thursday after weeks of COVID-19 lockdown.
Australia’s National Rugby League season was suspended on March 23 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 16-team competition kicks-off again Thursday with a match in Brisbane.
It is another sign that life in Australia, which has contained the outbreak, is starting to look like what it was before the coronavirus emergency.
Clubs and administrators have been anxious to re-start the season for financial reasons, while for some fans it is another sweet taste of normality.
Six venues will be used during what authorities have portrayed as “Phase 1” of the league’s resumption. The stadiums were picked because they were best prepared to meet biosecurity conventions.
Commentator and previous player Peter Sterling revealed to Australian TV that he is shocked the NRL has had the option to continue so rapidly.
“I thought that it was the height of optimism that six weeks ago May 28 would be a starting date for us because we knew that there were going to be so many obstacles,” he said. “You know, obviously we have done a great job of flattening that curve and getting it down to a stage where we can start to interact. But that was a long way away six weeks ago, so it has been remarkable leadership, and I guess the great thing for our game is the fact we are leading the way.”
Games will at first be played in void arenas, however, the Australian Medical Association has condemned the league’s arrangement to have crowds back by July, naming it “absurd” and “dangerous.”
The Australian Rules Football League, one more of the nation’s predominant professional sports, has said its matches will begin again on June 11. There is no definite date for professional soccer matches to continue as the easing lockdown limitations, including the reviving of schools, cafes, and spots of worship, step by step proceeds.
The men’s Twenty20 World Cup cricket competition is expected to be held in Australia beginning October 18. It is unclear on the off chance that it will proceed on account of the pandemic.
Australia has had just more than 7,100 known instances of COVID-19. As of Thursday, 103 individuals had died.