Why Are Football Players Vulnerable to Covid-19?

A few days after the Serie A organizers announced the postponement of the competition, the public was shocked by the official statement of the giant club from Turin, Italy, that one of the players tested positive for COVID-19. As we all know, the player in question is Daniele Rugani, the potential young defender that Juventys has.

Rugani was convicted positive of the virus in a healthy condition. Previously the 25-year-old player did not show any symptoms. No wonder then this case became the public spotlight of Italy and even the world because Rugani was the first professional footballer to be infected with the Corona virus in Italy.

At the same time, almost everyone close to him panicked, not only the anxiety of the players who had made contact with Rugani but also some of his team-mates who were so worried about Rugani’s condition after being declared positive.

But in the midst of panic, Rugani narrated several messages through social media. He claimed his condition was fine after being declared positive, in fact he considered himself lucky to be the first player to be infected with Corona because it could raise collective awareness for those who didn’t really understand how serious the Corona virus problem was.

“I consider myself lucky even though it feels like a crushing blow, because I am the first in our environment and raise the awareness of all those who do not understand the seriousness of this problem,” he cried. After the first case, the spread of COVID-19 among soccer players in Italy and several other countries such as Britain, Spain, Germany, and of course China itself is quite significant.

Until this article was written, Series A was still leading the Corona positive player list with 14 players. Followed by the Spanish La Liga which has 5 players, 2 Bundesliga players, 1 Premier League player and 1 coach, and 1 Chinese League player. So how can this virus attack soccer players who incidentally have excellent physical fitness and always get a nutritious food intake?

Football players are especially vulnerable to being affected by COVID-19. Many people assume that the athlete’s body has strong endurance so they will be immune to this pandemic. Because they have a programmed training schedule, intake of nutritious food, and other disciplines set by the professional soccer club environment. However, this assumption is not entirely true.

If the competition runs normally, soccer players would be the athletes most susceptible to this virus. in addition to a tight match schedule they receive a portion of training that is also no lighter than a match. This condition makes the immune of the players regularly depressed. This was said by former Chelsea team doctor, Eva Caneiro.

“Professional players have been shown to be regularly depressed about immunity. That’s because sportsmen engage in tiring activities, they sometimes play 72 hours, and training that creates tension in the body,” added the woman who now works as a sports doctor at The Sports Medical Group, London.

Therefore, the immune system of players who are increasingly down due to fatigue of playing and training makes them vulnerable to various diseases such as corona virus. In addition, there is a culture that is difficult to avoid in the round leather game, the culture of shaking hands and hugging. “Culturally, it might be difficult to persuade players or staff to change behaviors that cause the spread of infection such as shaking hands and hugging,” he said.

Another unhealthy portrait in a soccer environment is the use of the same drinking bottles, especially when training and competing. Do not stop there, they also have to share changing rooms, meeting rooms, dining rooms, and staying in the same hotel. These conditions make the spread of the virus increasingly massive among footballers. Besides solid activity from the technical side. Like training and competition. Players also feel how tired a journey. In a cross-country trip, players will feel the difference in time and weather so that their sleep patterns also change.

Doctor Caneiro also said the activity was quite risky, the players could be easily infected because they met with many people especially in tiring conditions. “That means players have to enter the airport even though sometimes they use private aircraft. Traveling also makes sleep patterns change, returning home in the morning, creating fatigue and making players vulnerable,” he concluded.

This condition is not only experienced by footballers, but all athletes from any sport. With a variety of conditions that haunt footballers, ranging from exhausting activities, culture together and respect, to other activities that are vulnerable to transmission of the virus. Therefore, all doctors who served in Serie A voiced a number of things related to the Corona emergency situation that was spread out among footballers.

“The Serie A medical team expressed its grave concern about protecting the health of club workers if training and other gatherings soon resumed,” the league’s doctors said in a statement. “Therefore, unanimously, the medical team recommends that we not continue training until there is clear progress in an emergency situation,” the statement concluded.

This virus is so massive, quickly transmitted in any way. We both face enemies that we don’t yet know about gaps and weaknesses. Therefore, seeing cases that also spread among footballers, presumably it is able to build our collective awareness to learn. There is a similar pattern and we can learn from the problems that attack footballers and in fact this is common in preventing corona viruses.

Reducing the rhythm of activities outside the home, minimizing meeting people, maintaining cleanliness, maintaining a healthy lifestyle including maintaining sleep patterns and many other variables that must be considered, including how to interact. Because Corona is not just attacking humans in conditions not fit. But also healthy people without showing symptoms. There must be no other Rugani after this.


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