CFL planning for contingencies amid coronavirus pandemic

Photo courtesy: CFL

The Canadian Football League understands the coronavirus pandemic is a fluid and unpredictable situation.

Commissioner Randy Ambrosie cancelled the CFL combines amid the ongoing COVID-19 situation. As of March 17, there are 424 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Canada, 74 percent were from travellers and four have passed away due to the virus. Multiple provinces have declared a state of emergency.

Statement from the league office:

We remain hopeful our season will start as scheduled in June. We continue to plan for it.

But, of course, the health and safety of the entire CFL family, including our fans, comes first. And this crisis is clearly bigger than football or anyone’s plans. So, we are monitoring the situation, speaking with medical experts and listening to public health officials. And we’re planning for contingencies.

But with so much uncertainty at the moment, it’a not productive to indulge in speculation in the media about what may or may not happen.

In the meantime, the vast majority of CFL employees here are working from home and we have been sharing health information with them throughout. We are also talking with our partners, trying to determine if there are ways we can help people at this difficult time. Of course, our usual practices — a food drive at the stadium, for instance — are compromised at the moment.

Randy told our staff today that he is confident we are going to get through this. And he is confident in the power of football to being people together, once again and more than ever, when that time comes.

All the best. I hope you and yours are safe and coping well.

CFL training camps are currently scheduled to open May 17 with regular season kick-off set for June 11.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.