Former Indian football men’s team captain and East Bengal legend Bhaichung Bhutia said that football would not suffer much if the matches are held without spectators, but he rang a warning bell for other sports like cricket.
“I think football will still survive behind closed doors,” Bhutia told IANS in an interview on Tuesday.
“I think for cricket, it’s going to be very difficult without spectators. Because football is an action packed game but cricket may suffer. Football…people won’t get bored as it will always be action. We have seen in Test cricket, when there is no crowd people don’t tend to watch,” he added.
Bhutia also spoke about the return of Bundesliga, which became the first major European league to resume the 2019-20 season, and said that it was weird to see top-flight European football matches were being played without spectators.
“I did watch the (Bundesliga) matches. See it does take time to adjust with no spectators around. It was a bit weird but I think with time you will get used to it. But it’s good that we are at least getting to watch live matches,” Bhutia said as quoted by IANS.
However, the former Mohun Bagan forward praised the German competition for resuming the 2019-20 season and said it was still better than no live matches all.
“It was quite boring. At least now we have live matches coming. So rather than reading only negative things all this while, it is a very good change,” said Bhutia, one of the finest forwards the country has ever seen.
The Sports Ministry on Monday gave its go ahead to the resumption of training in all sports complexes and stadia after the government eased restrictions for the fourth phase of the lockdown which will run till May 31.
Hailing the move, Bhutia said it will also give people a chance to go out and jog and stay fit which is key to fighting the deadly virus.
“I think it’s very important because health is the most important thing. It’s a very good step as people can jog and run in the morning. So it is a healthy way of living and if our immune system and health is strong, you can easily fight COVID-19.
“People will have to maintain social distancing. Fitness and a healthy lifestyle is the only way to fight coronavirus,” Bhutia added.
With IANS inputs