Hi everybody. On Monday before we started the game against Portsmouth, something caught my eye during the pre-match ritual.
During the pre-match line up, I noticed how reluctant a lot of Arsenal players were to shake the Portsmouth players. A lot of them opted for the fist to fist bump. This felt awkward and strange; but who would blame these players? With the fear of Coronavirus being the beginning of football wisdom, the fist to fist kind of greeting may just be one of the ways to help curb the spread of Coronavirus. But then, what happens to the traditional handshake for now? The handshake to me signifies peace. To me it says “we may be playing against each other, but we will still remain friends despite playing each other”. The fist bump of greeting is fine, but won’t it kill the passion in the game?
In ensuring that they minimize the player’s contact with corona virus, the Arsenal medical team have placed a ban on pre-match handshakes. This according to them is one of their ways of protecting their players, whose families have been worried over the possibility of their loved ones being exposed to the coronavirus.
According to the Sun, Arteta is quoted as saying “(We are) not anxious, obviously we read the information, it’s all the time in the media.
“Our families are concerned; we have a lot of foreign players with foreign families in different countries so it’s something that is on a daily basis.
“The club and the authorities are in contact every day. We are following all the instructions from the club doctor.
“So far the protocols we have been doing are enough but obviously don’t know to what stage it is going to develop.
“We’ve seen in other countries the difficult decisions they have to make around it to protect the situation so we have to wait and see and be guided by them.”
It is good that Arsenal is bothered about the welfare of its staff. If they don’t take care of their players, who will? However, with the way the world is hooked on fear over this deadly virus, we may soon notice some funny ways of greeting between players. In a situation where a player is down on the pitch and he needs another player to help him stand to his feet, would he get any help? Would other players be willing to touch him? Wouldn’t he be left to figure out how to get up on his own? The spirit of sportsmanship may suffer a while, until Coronavirus is conquered.
Meanwhile, I beseech all Arsenal fans to avoid offering people handshakes as much as possible. Instead, we should give them the fist to fist greeting, as shown by our heroes against Portsmouth. Our club has shown us the way; let us follow them like loyal fans that we are.
We are Arsenal and we are proud.