Barcelona’s star defender Gerard Pique is cynical about holding the Davis Cup 2020 in front of empty stands in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2018, Pique’s investment group Kosmos acquired the rights to the sport’s oldest competition from International Tennis Federation (ITF) in a $US 3 billion deal for 25 days. Subsequently, the traditional home and away tie format was transformed into a week-long competition akin to a tennis World Cup.
“To have the Davis Cup without fans is difficult” – Gerard Pique
The first edition of the revamped Davis Cup was won by the hosts Spain. The tournament is scheduled in November this year in Madrid. However, Pique is not sure about holding the event this year as spectators might not be allowed to attend the competition.
“I’m a bit pessimistic. To have the Davis Cup without fans is difficult,” Pique told Spanish television network Movistar on Sunday.
“There is a lot of uncertainty. We are listening to what the sport’s ministry and the government are telling us about whether we’ll be able to have fans in the stadium,” he added.
“There are different opinions. No one is sure if we’ll be able to have fans or if it’ll have to be behind closed doors,” Pique noted.
Pique also explained that the strict lockdown in Spain has made it difficult to make preparations for the event. However, the organizers are trying to work from home. Eventually, the organizers will be prepared if the Government them to hold the event with fans attending it.
“I think in the next few weeks we’ll have more clarity. But right now we’re trying to be prepared,” he added.
“People are working from home and obviously we can’t go to Madrid to look at facilities. We are prepared in case we end up being able to organize it,” Pique concluded.
The tennis tour came to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March. It is still indefinite when the season will resume. However, it is quite possible that when the event would take place behind closed doors after the tour resumes.
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