Government sports authorities suggest prevention measures, although only partial, despite the death of a coach.
By Monica Garcia Peralta (Confidencial)
HAVANA TIMES – On the morning of May 21, at a hospital in Masaya, Carlos Aranda, a coach of the San Fernando baseball team, died, after being on a respirator since the previous weekend with symptoms of coronavirus, according to league sources.
This would be the first victim due to the irresponsibility of Nicaraguan sport authorities, who in spite of the extension and severity of the pandemic, have kept playing baseball games in Nicaragua.
Now, after Arnada’s death, the Nicaraguan Superior Baseball Commission finally decided to take some preventive, although partial, measures to prevent contagion. Among these measures are taking the body temperature of players as they enter the stadiums and the suspension of games “if necessary,” details a resolution that was released this Thursday, May 21, but it is dated the 20th.
Hours later, sport commentators reported the temporary suspension of the league’s games for the next three weeks. “Forced by the refusal of players to play due to the fear of Covid-19 infection, the Baseball Commission has decided to suspend all series for the weekend and “almost” culminates the second phase of the “Pomares” league play, wrote on Twitter, the commentator Miguel Mendoza.
Until now, the league had three teams in a tie: San Fernando, Jinotega and Matagalpa, but due to the San Fernando players’ decision not to continue with the games, the commission decided to eliminate the team from the competition.
“As of this weekend’s series, at the Denis Martinez National Stadium, the access of players, technical team and support corps, will be through the main entrance, to take their body temperatures. The player who comes with a temperature above the established parameters will not be able to enter the stadium,” the Baseball Commission had previously said, still refusing to suspend the games.
More baseball players with Covid-19 symptoms
Aranda was one of three members of San Fernando attended with Covid-19, out of a total of nine who suffered from the symptoms, reported EFE. The other eight remain in hospitals or under home quarantine. San Fernando had asked the sports authorities to suspend the series that took place last weekend against Managua’s Boer team, due to the Covid-19 cases presented by the team, but the authorities only agreed to reschedule a game for Sunday.
The players of both clubs played with masks, but the San Fernando team lost the series because it had to use outfielders as pitchers, due to lack of personnel. After Coach Aranda’s death, the Baseball Commission agreed to suspend the three-game series between San Fernando and the Chontales “Toros,” which was scheduled to start this Friday.
Sports Events Continue in Nicaragua
Boxing, baseball or soccer. No matter what the sport is; in Nicaragua all continue to be played in spite of the threat of coronavirus infection. Covid-19 has already claimed its first sports victim and according to several commentators, more players are infected. But the country’s sports authorities continue to resist adopting measures.
“In the entire world sports have been cancelled. But there is a country in which there is a parallel universe with a fairly busy sports calendar,” James Wagner published in the New York Times weeks ago, in an article that refers to the different sporting activities that continue to be practiced in Nicaragua, despite the pandemic.
Denis Martinez: “It’s Absurd”
Sports activities have continued as normal in Nicaragua since the pandemic started. This is “ridiculous, inconceivable and absurd,” former big league pitcher Denis Martinez said on the “Esta Semana” program.
Martinez also commented on how Nicaraguan athletes are subjected to pressures that force them to continue with the “normal” sports activities. “They are fined, punished and sanctioned if they don’t. It is something senseless, which is endangering the lives of young people,” he said.
“As a Nicaraguan I am genuinely concerned about everything there. I see it from a humanitarian perspective. It hurts me to see that we are not able to react to reality. It is inconceivable,” Martinez also told The New York Times.
Sports commentator Edgard Rodriguez C. wrote on May 18th:
My prayers and solidarity with Norman Cardoze (Sr) and Norman Cardoze (Jr) both hospitalized in Masaya with Covid-19 symptoms. I am united with their families by a long friendship and I wish a speedy recovery for them and for every Nicaraguan affected by the pandemic.
A credible source has told me that at least 45% of the San Fernando players are with the same symptoms. Even one of the coaches (Aranda) is on a respirator and with an uncertain prognosis. [Aranda died on May 21st]
If the Pomares (league) is not stopped now, I don’t know how many more there will be. I suggested suspending play two months ago.