As I expected, I was cricified by some yesterday for expressing the opinion that having a crowd at the Crucible in less than two weeks time would be irresponsible.
I stand by what I wrote.
And I suggest that those who disagree look at what others who, like me. have been there, both in the crowd and behind the scene, think about it.
here are excerpts
Yet, it would be totally naive and remiss to completely ignore the potential problems that are attached to this move.
Even if social distancing is followed, tests are given, masks are worn, and hands are sanitised, the reality is that health and safety cannot be guaranteed.
The UK is still in a situation where it is recovering from the pandemic, with several hundred new cases being reported everyday.
Will masks be worn diligently, or will the confusingly ridiculous advice from the UK government that it is merely “encouraged” in certain, and often bizarre, situations be followed?
Yet, what was already an enormous task is going to be made even harder as a consequence of this decision.
It’s worth remembering that the World Championship isn’t a one-day event, where a trial like this one would make more sense.
As the plan will likely be implemented for the full show, there will be fans moving in and out of the Crucible Theatre for 17 days, at any which point an infection could put the entire event in jeopardy.
If a player contracts COVID-19, presumably he or she will automatically have to withdraw, which would be a farce in terms of the integrity of the competition.
The players will obviously be kept inside their own bubble and as far away as possible from the fans at all times.
With the Crucible being infamously small, though, it’s not beyond the realms of chance that one of them ends up testing positive regardless of the distancing regulations imposed.
Hector is one of the best snooker journalists, and has worked in the media room for years. It triggered this reaction from Snookerbacker, a leading snooker blogger for years and another one who has been at the Crucible, as a spectator and in the media room
Andy Lee, a player from Hong Kong posted this on twitter:
The Hong Kong area, and its population, have a lot more experience with epidemics than people in the UK. They know the risks and they handled the crisis, much, much better than the UK. They had 1714 cases and 11 casualties and that with over 7500000 inhabitants clustered in less than 3000 km2
So there you go. I may be “negative as sin” in your eyes, you are clueless in mine.
Now onto something more positive, the fourth issue of The Chalk is out.
It contains my preview of the World Championship qualifiers, and much, much more. Please support and subscribe. You won’t regret it.