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Sport could resume in empty stadiums says top U.S. disease expert

Video credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on April 16, 2020 - Duration: 00:39s

Sport could resume in empty stadiums says top U.S. disease expert

The NFL campaign and an abbreviated baseball season may be possible if games are played without fans and players are kept in lockdown according to U.S. President Donald Trump’s leading infectious disease adviser.

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Sport could resume in empty stadiums says top U.S. disease expert

RESENDING WITH UPDATED SCRIPT VIDEO SHOWS: U.S. DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES AND MEMBER OF THE WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE DR ANTHONY FAUCI BEING INTERVIEWED ON SNAPCHAT / SOUNDBITES ON RESUMING SPORT EVENTS / FILE OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL, WASHINGTON NATIONALS (BASEBALL) SHOWS:

Class="kln">WASHINGTON, DC.UNITED STATES.

(APRIL 14, 2020) (SNAPCHAT/'GOOD LUCK AMERICA-NO ARCHIVE, NO RESALE.

NO NEW USES AFTER May 15, 2020, MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY: SNAPCHAT'S "GOOD LUCK AMERICA") 1.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) PETER HAMBY, SAYING: "Do you think those sports season are in jeopardy?

Are we going to have college football this fall?" 2.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH-PARTIAL VOICE OVER) U.S. DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES, ANTHONY FAUCI, SAYING: (SOUNDBITE PARTIALLY OVERLAID WITH THE IMAGES FROM SHOTS 3, 4 AND 5) "There's a way of doing that.

Nobody comes to the stadium.

Put them in big hotels.

You know wherever you want to play.

Keep them very well surveilled, namely a surveillance but have them tested like every week and make sure they don't infect each other or their family and just let them play the season out.

People say you can't play without spectators.

Well I think you'll probably get enough buy-in from people who are dying to see a baseball game.

Particularly me.

I'm living in Washington.

You have the world champion Washington Nationals I want to see them pay again." NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, USA (JANUARY 13, 2020); NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, UNITED STATES (USA TODAY SPORTS - ACCESS ALL) 3.

LSU TIGERS QUARTERBACK JOE BURROW (9) THROWS AGAINST THE CLEMSON TIGERS IN THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME AT MERCEDES-BENZ SUPERDOME.

WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES (FILE) WASHINGTON NATIONALS-MUST COURTESY WASHINGTON NATIONALS) 4.

NATIONALS AT SPRING TRAINING WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES (FILE) (WASHINGTON NATIONALS-MUST COURTESY WASHINGTON NATIONALS) 5.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS TAKING BATTING PRACTICE AT SPRING TRAINING STORY: The NFL campaign and an abbreviated baseball season may be possible if games are played without fans and players are kept in lockdown, U.S. President Donald Trump's leading infectious disease adviser said on Wednesday (April 15).

It has been a little over a month since the NBA season was abruptly halted amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, with most professional sports following suit, leaving arenas and stadiums empty amid speculation over when live sport can return.

"There's a way of doing that: Nobody comes to the stadium, put them (the players) in big hotels, wherever you want to play, keep them very well surveilled," Anthony Fauci, the leading U.S. health expert said in a Snapchat interview.

"Make sure they don't wind up infecting each other or their family and just let them play the season out." Fauci, who appeared last month in an Instagram live interview with Golden State Warriors sharp-shooter Steph Curry, said he would recommend that athletes should be tested roughly once a week after resuming play.

The prospect of sports going ahead without fans has met with some criticism.

Major League Baseball recently damped down talk it would return as soon as May with players competing in an isolation bubble.

Last month, before professional sport was suspended, 16-time NBA All-Star LeBron James called the notion of playing without fans impossible.

"People say, 'Well, you know, you can't play without spectators,'" said Fauci.

"Well, I think you probably get enough buy-in from people who are dying to see a baseball game - particularly me.

"I'm living in Washington, we have the World Champion Washington Nationals, I want to see them play again." The NFL regular season is due to kick off on Sept.

10, but there is no date for the MLB to start or for the NBA and NHL to resume.

Major League Soccer said on Tuesday its projection to return in mid-May was "extremely unlikely." (Production: Peter Bullock)

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