Due to the coronavirus outbreak in Italy, the alpine skiing World Cup Finals scheduled in March will take place without any fans on the slopes. The event will be held in the Veneto region, an area that has been badly affected by a virus outbreak which has killed 12 people.

Italy has been hit the hardest of the other European countries by the coronavirus outbreak. It has also been a point of contagion with many cases in other countries, where people have returned home unwell after visiting areas in northern Italy.

The Italian sporting calendar has been completely disrupted as the Italian government seeks to contain the virus, with the towns in the north in lockdown. Rugby and soccer matches scheduled to be played have also either been postponed or will be played behind closed doors.

Read the full article on Channel News Asia: Alpine Skiing: World Cup Finals to be held without fans due to coronavirus


What is sports without its fans? As much as there is a challenge in stretching athletic limits, there is also a thrill in achieving the impossible in front of spectators. It is unfortunate then that these European skiing and soccer teams would have to play behind closed doors without the roaring support of their fans. While the fans would still be able to watch the sporting event online, the athletes would only be able to imagine their moral support in their physical absence.

Further, the presence of fans creates a source of revenue for both the sporting organisers as well as the surrounding businesses. The food and hospitality industry is heavily dependent on the local area’s sporting calendar. Thus, when the sporting calendar is thrown into chaos,  local hotels and restaurants also suffer, further exacerbating the economic loss faced by the coronavirus outbreak. 


Questions for further personal evaluation: 

  1. What do you think is lost when sporting events are devoid of fans? Or, is sports still sports without its fans?
  2. Would you risk being infected by the coronavirus just to watch your favourite athlete/ sporting team/ band play? Why or why not?

Useful vocabulary: 

  1. ‘contagion’: the communication of disease from one person or organism to another by close contact
  2. ‘devoid’: entirely lacking or free from