Canada Throws A Curve Ball At Sports Leagues Trying To Return Action During The COVID 19 Pandemic

A substantial hurdle.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reminded not only National Hockey League owners and league commissioner Gary Bettman of how difficult it will be to get the NHL back on the ice but other league owners and commissioners as well including Major League Soccer, the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball. Non-Canadian athletes who work in Canada are not privileged and would have to follow the rules if they are able to get into the country. The United States-Canadian border has been closed since mid-March and will not reopen until May 16th at the earliest. There have been reports that NHL and MLB playing plans include using venues in local markets whether it is a training facility, a stadium and or an arena. Major League Soccer wants to resume play in June.

The COVID 19 illness has stopped sports around the world. Some leagues are trying to return to business. Trudeau has thrown a hurdle into the North American plans. “I think it’s a question we’ll have to look into,” Trudeau said. “Certainly, at a strict minimum, anyone who arrives from another country will have to follow all the rules of quarantine in an extremely strict manner, but we’re not there yet in our discussions with the NHL. We recognize that it’s a possibility, but it depends on an enormous amount of things, and I don’t want to speculate on this until there’s more discussion.” Canada lost a women’s tennis tournament scheduled for August in Montreal. The province of Quebec is not allowing events to take place that draw crowds until August 31st at the earliest which would impact the NHL and Major League Soccer. Manitoba is also closed for major events until the end of August. Alberta has no set time to open sports venues nor does British Columbia. Scientific data will determine sports status.

(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)