Rio de Janeiro, April 30 (IANS) Former tennis world No. 1 Gustavo Kuerten has warned sports authorities against returning too quickly from their coronavirus shutdowns.
The 43-year-old Brazilian on Wednesday said sport paled in significance compared to efforts to combat COVID-19, which has claimed lives of more than 227,000 people worldwide, reports Xinhua news agency.
“Sport is an eternal passion, that inspires and motivates us. It’s a part of life,” Kuerten said during an Instagram Live session with fans. “But there are some other things that are more important. We need to wait and only return when the time is right. We can’t rush back. The main priority now is to fight this (disease) with all of our strength.”
The three-time French Open winner supported a proposal to establish a fund for lower ranked players struggling to make ends meet during the global heath crisis that has paralysed tennis since March 12.
“There’s no way to ignore it now. When you allocate a large portion of the cake to the top 10 or 15 players, the rest are left to eat clay or grass to survive.
“The best players are the reason why there is so much money in the game but, on the other hand, the sport only exists because there are other players too. The inequality has become too great and now is the time to think about fixing the situation,” he added.