Formula One boss advises drivers to all contract coronavirus – should footballers do the same?

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A Formula One boss has suggested a way around the coronavirus that could see drivers back in action sooner rather than later.

Helmut Marko, speaking on BBC Sport, has made the controversial suggestion that F1 drivers, being fit and healthy as they are, should all contract coronavirus and  get it out of the way.

Provided the drivers were in an isolated environment and could not pass it on to more vulnerable people, such as the elderly or those with underlying health conditions, this certainly sounds in theory like it could be a good way to build up athletes’ immunity to the bug that has gripped the world.

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Mark says he had the idea to get drivers together in a kind of camp, which “would be the ideal time for the infection to come”.

“They are all strong young men in good health. That way they would be prepared whenever the action starts,” he added.

This has, unsurprisingly, not gone down too well, and perhaps seems a risk that many would advise against taking, even if it seems to be widely understood that coronavirus can only present mild symptoms or even none at all in a large section of society.

There will always be exceptions, and from the sounds of it, many footballers would probably be against this idea even if it sounds like it could be a decent way to ensure the Premier League and other major competitions around the world can start up again sooner.

While Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta seemed to have it fairly easy with their cases of COVID-19, this has not been the case for Aston Villa goalkeeper Pepe Reina, who has complained of severe breathing difficulties, while former Barcelona shot-stopper Recber Rustu is also reported to have been in ‘critical’ condition in hospital with the virus.

Today it was also announced that the mother of Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola passed away from the illness – a reminder that even if footballers themselves might not be the most vulnerable group, their family members may still be.

It would be tempting to think that we could simply wave a magic wand and get every player immune with only a mild case of coronavirus, but it would be very surprising if such a measure were to be introduced in football or indeed any other sport.