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Sport not likely before August, says govt

by Staff reporter
30 Apr 2020 at 07:05hrs | Views
A Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation official has raised the red flag over resumption of any sporting activities in the country before August due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The official said rushing to allow sporting activities such as football to resume could reverse all gains made in containing the pandemic that has so far infected over three million people globally.

He concurred with Fifa chief medical officer Michel D'Hooghe, who warned that restarting the European football season in the coming weeks could cause a deadly second spike of the pandemic, adding that football should not resume until end of August or early September.

"It's not a matter of money, it's life or death," D'Hooghe said earlier this week.

Already the Dutch Eridivisie and France's Ligue 1 and 2 have been cancelled.

"My view is that the Fifa medical expert is right here. This is a global crisis which we are all not sure when it will end. Given that there is no cure or vaccine yet, the safety and health of athletes, officials and spectators must come first and this should never be compromised," said the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation official.

"Human life is sacrosanct and we should never dice with it hence it becomes absolutely necessary to take all the necessary measures to combat this pandemic. While others may be persuaded to also think in terms of the huge losses that sport and other industries have had to endure, it must be understood that profit in any entity is as a result of human effort and if their safety is compromised, no profit will be realised. Human life must always reign supreme because there is only one life that we all live."

He said the Ministry and Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) must demonstrate leadership and take a decisive position.

"I am aware that engagements are already underway in view of that, but the ministry will also be guided by the Health Ministry as well as the executive, but there is a huge chance that we might not have any sports and recreational activities anytime soon," he said.

The Covid-19 lockdown is set to expire on May 3 after the initial three-week lockdown was extended by two weeks by the Government.

Source - the herald