Safety of International Professional Sports Competitions During The COVID-19 Pandemic: The Association Football Experience
Área de Medicina Clínica y Epidemiología
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Caniza, H.; Forriol, F.; Pangrazio, O.; et al. "Safety Ff International Professional Sports Competitions During The COVID-19 Pandemic: The Association Football Experience". Sports Medicine. 53 (4), 2022, 765 - 768
Major sporting events were suspended during the most acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Competitions are resuming with enhanced hygiene protocols and altered mechanics. While risks for players and staff have been studied, the impact of large-scale tournaments on the communities that host them remains largely unstudied. CONMEBOL Copa America is one of the first wide-scale international tournaments to be conducted in its original format since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tournament saw 10 national teams compete in four Brazilian cities during a period of heightened viral transmission. The analysis of over 28,000 compulsory PCR tests showed that positive cases did not lead to the uncontrolled spread of the disease among staff and players. More importantly, the data indicate that locally hired staff were not exposed to increased risk while working. The Copa America experience shows that international sporting competitions can be conducted safely even under unfavourable epidemiological situations.

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