What are the core values of our operations and why are prepared risk human health and even lives through our work?
This period of coronavirus has proved to me things that I did not think would occur other than in dictatorial states or countries where the level of civilisation is low for some reason.
At the moment, operations and accountability have been at an outrageous level. We are behaving as if we have overcome the coronavirus and that football is somehow exempt from rules of society.
The only thing that has changed since the first restrictions were put in place is that the start of the season is three weeks closer to starting.
All sports and clubs were publicly on the same page until now. The closer we get to the potential start of the season, the more we need to start training as a team, which means breaking current regulations.
The situation in Uusimaa and Helsinki in particular, is as bad as three weeks ago. The best-case scenario is that the increase in the number of infections has slowed but we have still not survived this epidemic.
Even if this were true, experts agree that the situation will only continue to improve if people continue to behave in a restrained manner.
Veikkausliiga clubs training is an example of not restrained behaviour. Teams have started training in almost normally, for which there is evidence on social media, and last week I witnessed this with my own eyes in three places.
I was outraged by this. It’s as if we say one thing but do the opposite. Is this how we run football clubs and develop sports culture?
During this crisis, the real values will be revealed. For me, messages of conflict, the circumvention of regulations, and endangering human lives is the current reality of the football world in Finland.
We talk about players practicing in small groups and moving around in bigger groups from one place to another. However, the fact that we speak of the benefits of using masks during sporting activities in this critical period is just pure self-deception.
It is quite ridiculous to even imagine that some mask can help us prevent the spread of infections. If that were the case then players would surely have been allowed to play with masks if there was a risk of tuberculosis spreading.
It’s ridiculous to even imagine that players would avoid coming within two metres of each other during training. If it were choir rehearsals, then I suppose you would be told to keep your mouths shut the entire time?
This week and the week before I have seen and heard of players posting pictures on social media where it is clear that regulations are being broken. Players have even asked doctors about training during this coronavirus crisis.
The fact is that intense training lowers leukocyte levels a body’s defence system, so it would be better for players to focus on technique, speed, and strength, rather than intense training.
These exercises can be practiced alone, even by professionals. The question is, are we trendsetters who set good examples or those who simply contradict? Do we take social responsibility?
The doctor I consulted has a clear opinion and on group training; If we allowed one group to train on the field then surely there is no reason we cannot allow everyone else to do the same under the same conditions.
At the stage when we allow young people to train together in small groups, then we also allow it for professionals. But not the other way around.
For me, this coronavirus crisis revealed things that I did not think were possible in Finland. Football needs a complete cleansing if we don’t play by the same rules amongst all clubs or with other sports. Those who are ready to take responsibility should raise their hand.
Stop saying that athletes are at the centre of everything if, at the same time, doctors consider such actions and behaviour to be wrong and dangerous.