Rise in Covid-19 cases killing grassroots football?

I had a conversation with City Youth Academy's Mohd Sulaiman Gerrard Abdullah yesterday.

He said business has dropped tremendously as parents are being cautious following the rise in Covid-19 cases.

"Some 90 per cent of trainees have pulled out from training. It's nothing to do with (fasting during the holy month of) Ramadan but due to (the rise in the number of) Covid-19 cases," said Sulaiman.

Being a father to a 15-year-old, he understands how parents feel. 

"It's frustrating. Business has been really bad and now this. I just wish people will stop going out for no reason and help curb the spread of Covid-19."

Other youth academy owners, however, feel differently. They said business has not been affected as parents still send their children for football training.

"Perhaps some of these academies rely on school football fields and when there is a case reported in school, the school shuts down and those renting the field aren't able to use it," said Youth Football Academy chief coach N. Radhakrishnan.

But the fear is real. Parents are not sending their children to school, what more for football trainings or even music classes. Many clusters have been reported in schools.

I feel sorry for these grassroots coaches and teachers - as to me they are the most passionate bunch who do what they do for the love of the game. 

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