The NFL campaign and a shortened baseball season may be possible if the games are played without fans and the players are locked out, infectious diseases chief counsel to President Donald Trump said on Wednesday.
It’s been just over a month since the NBA season came to an abrupt halt in the midst of the new coronavirus epidemic, with most professional sports following suit, leaving arenas and stadiums empty amid speculation about the return of live sport.
“There is a way to do it: nobody comes to the stadium, put them [the player] in big hotels, wherever you want to play, keep them very well watched, “said Anthony Fauci, the leading US health expert in an interview on Snapchat.
“Make sure they don’t end up infecting each other or their families and just let them play the season. “
Fauci, who appeared last month in a live Instagram interview with Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry, said he would recommend that athletes be tested approximately once a week after the game resumes.
NFL season slated to begin September 10
The prospect of doing sports without fans has drawn some criticism. The Major League Baseball recently dampened the rumor that it would return in May with players competing in an isolation bubble.
Last month, before the suspension of professional sport, LeBron James, 16 NBA stars, said that the notion of playing without fans was impossible.
“People say, ‘Well, you know, you can’t play without spectators,’ said Fauci. “Well, I think you are probably getting enough support from people who are dying to see a baseball game, especially me.
“I live in Washington, we have the world champion of the Washington Nationals, I want to see them play again. “
The NFL regular season is set to start on September 10, but there is no date for the start of MLB or for the NBA and NHL to resume. Major League Soccer said on Tuesday that his return in mid-May was “extremely unlikely”.