Impact of COVID-19 in Sport
One cannot ignore the effect that the confinement measures implemented in member states during the COVID-19 pandemic have had on human rights, including in the field of sport.
The main conversations in the sports media during this pandemic were dominated by elite sport –
- How and when will it be safe for major sports tournaments and leagues to “get back to normal”?
- Is the health and safety of athletes, workers and fans sufficiently being taken into account when making such decisions?
- Is there a threat that the first matches or tournaments to be held when normality resumes will result in a flurry of match-fixing activity and corrupt behaviour?
The postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games and other major sporting events may give elite athletes time to train and be ready for the competitions, but what complicates this process is the financial gap created by the suspension of economic and social activity at national level and all over the world. And if sports activities entail their share of risks to human rights, the lack of physical activity also bears its dangers. Let’s not forget grassroots sport and how children and young people have been affected during these unprecedented times. Will sports clubs have the resources to come back better and stronger, with an even healthier community spirit in place for an activity that is so important to so many?
What is clear, is that promoting the values of sport, a healthy lifestyle for society and the right for everyone to practice physical activity, is required now more than ever. And it should be driven by a concern for the protection of human rights.
Below the different resources collected by the Sports Conventions Unit and the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) of the Council of Europe in relation to the situation in member states.
The Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport, promoting values in and through sport, conducted a study to understand the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on people’s physical activity/behaviour in terms of how much they exercised and how and where they did so. The study was conducted in 29 member states of the Council of Europe and took place between 26.11.2020 and 21.12.2020.