In March, sports were put on hold due to COVID-19, and now, several local sports federations have decided to cancel this year’s tournaments. There will be no handball, basketball or volley ball in the Faroe Islands for the remainder of the year. Currently, there are no plans to cancel football, however.
On Monday, the cancellation of another sport was announced – the Faroese national sport, rowing. This decision has sparked outrage.
– First of all, football is set to recommence on 9 May, while the first boat race isn’t scheduled until 6 June. We have seven races, and the football tournament has 27 matches. Does it really make sense to cancel the rowing competition while the rest of society gets to reopen? In my opinion the rowing shouldn’t be cancelled (yet). If the situation gets worse we can take it from there, but it currently looks like it’ll be fine in a couple of months, says Niels Áki Mørk, who has started a petition against the cancellation, which currently has close to 400 signatures.
– We were told it wasn’t deemed safe to host the boat races this summer, partly because rowers will be sitting too close to one another. We are sorry about this, but we don’t feel that we can ignore the advice from the health authorities, says Annika V. Dalsgarð, chairwoman of the Faroese rowing federation.
– We can ask ourselves: What’s at stake here, and where does the danger lie? Fortunately, it is looking good for the Faroe Islands for the time being, but we don’t know what it will look like in the future. When it comes to rowing we have to keep in mind, that it is not just seven, nine or eleven crew members on a boat who’ll be affected, if one of them contracts the virus. It affects their families and their places of work too. If someone becomes seriously ill, and it can be traced back to rowing, that is not something we can live with, she says.