Former national team captain and coach Sunday Oliseh believed the beautiful game of football has been endangered even more and its fabrics torn with the attendant negative effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
After months of suspension of major leagues since March, the German Bundesliga only resumed over the weekend sans the usual fanfare as matches were played under closed door but Oliseh who plaid his trade with Dortmund in his heyday , said COVID-19 remains a huge disruption to football.
“I pray I’m wrong but I have a feeling that COVID-19 risk being a huge disruptive factor to football and just as it has been a huge disruptive factor to our lives,” the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations winner told NationSport. “But I hope football can survive the negative effects of COVID-19 so that we can have something next to what we used to have.”
Already, there have been outcries that COVID-19 would have adverse effect on transfer market activities of most clubs and the former Juventus midfielder admitted that losses would be felt across board.
“A lot of clubs are really struggling financially and the amount of damages already done by COVID-19 can only be known when football totally resumes,” noted Oliseh who was the first Nigerian to played in the Italian Serie A after he moved from Liege to Reggiana after USA’94 World Cup.
“COVID-19 has really sent a message to us and for me; it has to do with the fact that we are all tenants on this earth and we would come and go-leaving only the landlord which is God.”
Also speaking on the impact of COVID-19 on football, former national youth goalkeeper Emeka Amadi surmised Nigerian and African players would henceforth find it difficult to move to European clubs as was the case prior to the outbreak of the pandemic.
“The effect of COVID-19 is enormous and we have seen that a lot of clubs would be financially bankrupt and would find it difficult to pay wages of their players and maintain facilities,” explained Amadi.
“This is really going to affect transfer of players from Africa and other less developed countries to Europe for instance and as we can also see, a lot of workers around football have lost their jobs already.”