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Tips to keep you entertained on weekends of no sport

For many of us, sport and weekends go hand in hand. We’re watching it on TV, at the stadium or taking part in it. Close-of-business on Friday is a call to our passions to come out and play. Until now. With a global suspension on almost every sport of note — and the prudent advice to stay out of crowds — weekends are threatening to be dull. But it need not be that way. Here are four things you can do to keep yourself entertained during these trying times.

Take a virtual run

BoutTime event management has thought up a replacement for the park runs that are being cancelled: the virtual run.

The concept is simple. You take a run at your own time, own pace, anywhere you like and submit your time to be listed among all the other participants. You can do this on the treadmill at home, in the street or your complex or anywhere you won’t have contact with others. The distance is up to you: 5km, 10km, 15km, 21km.

After you submit your score you will receive a ranking and a medal will be delivered to you. Four events will take place in March and April.

Dive into Football Manager

Football fans tend to have a lot of vices. Aside from the copious amounts of football we watch, we also braai while watching football, bet on football and, most heinous of all, spend our family time adjusting our fantasy football league. That must all come to a temporary end.

Fortunately, the vice that took away many of our teenage years is still available: Football Manager. Our dreams of running a football club may have died a slow death in adulthood, but we can still fulfil them virtually.

Pick your team, fire its staff, haggle for deals in the transfer market, scold Neymar for his selfish play. You can do things how you’ve always thought they should be done. Skilled gamers might even wish to take on the toughest challenge of all — bring the Premier League trophy back to Anfield.

Play Sunday league on Fifa 20

You can’t watch any football and you can’t play it either. You are probably missing that Sunday league game and the weeknight social seven-a-side game with your mates. But you don’t have to be on the pitch to blow off some steam or even leave a dirty tackle on your opponent.

You can simply set up a PlayStation Network or Xbox Live account, create a virtual professional on Fifa 20, get your squad to do the exact same thing and hop into the mode called Pro Clubs. Each player takes his position and you find other opposition on the server, which makes for an enjoyable experience.

What would enhance the experience is a sense of competitiveness. Fortunately, a group of South Africans have got together and created a South African Premier League that consists of two divisions and games that are played out throughout the week. So while you are practicing social distancing, you can still have a drink with your mates after a game of football, alone at home.

Watch Zlatan on repeat

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the footballer extraordinaire, has set up a fundraiser to fight Covid-19 in Italy, the country that served as home for much of his career. He kicked things off with a cool €100000 donation.

“If the virus don’t go to Zlatan, Zlatan goes to the virus,” he proclaimed.

Sounds like the least we can do is celebrate the move by heading to YouTube and checking out the acrobatic antics that built the Zlatan brand. With slick flicks and midfield banana kicks, it’s not easy to list players whose goals are as infinitely rewatchable as Ibrahimovic’s.

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Luke Feltham
Luke Feltham is a features writer at the Mail & Guardian
Eyaaz Matwadia
Eyaaz Matwadia
Eyaaz Matwadia is a member of the Mail & Guardian's online team.

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