The new year is only two weeks in and already major sporting events are tweaking their calendars and conditions as it becomes clear that Covid-19 is here to stay despite a global vaccine rollout.
The masters of the Masters golf tournament have decreed that only a handful of "patrons" will be able to attend the season's first men's major. The bosses of Formula One (F1) have already rejigged the 2021 calendar because of tough quarantine measures in Australia and China. SA Rugby has postponed the Currie Cup semifinal by a week, even though they are already in the unusual January time slot. And so it goes on.
This week has seen more sporting disruption and next week, and the week after and the week after that will no doubt be the same. Everything is fluid and sporting organisations, host cities and venues are having to be flexible. Nothing is guaranteed anymore. Just ask SA Rugby, as they sweat it out trying to find solutions to ensure the 2021 British and Irish Lions tour goes ahead.
That is one event that can't happen without fans, for commercial and historical reasons, but F1 and golf don't need fans as badly. Both are...