On Monday, September 28, the Ministry of Sports announced that all sporting activities, training and competitions, would resume effective immediately.
The ministry has, however, urged that Covid-19 containment measures should be observed.
The development concludes a six-month-long halt imposed on sports in a bid to strengthen the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
To ensure a safe reopening of sports facilities, training and competitions, the sports ministry has announced different measures that teams are strictly supposed to comply with.
The New times highlights five things you should know as sports activities near full resumption.
1. No fans at training venues
There will be no spectators allowed to attend training sessions of any team. Only participants; players, coaches, non-playing staff and team officials will be allowed to access training facilities.
The possibility of spectators attending competitions, the ministry said, will be assessed thoroughly by health agencies before it is approved.
2. Sanitisation at training facilities
Owners of the training facilities and teams have been urged that venues and playing grounds should have clear preventive measures to avoid any source of contamination. Particularly, physical distance, high hygiene and regular sanitasation should be applied.
Facility owners are also requested to record the health situation of all attendees on a daily basis.
3. High-risk games
Collective sports – such as football, rugby, basketball and handball – have been labeled as high-risk games as athletes share equipment during practice and competitions and the recommended physical distance is not possible.
However, where possible, the ministry advises clubs to modify training conditions – non-contact skills and limited sharing of equipment – to support the required physical distancing.
Additionally, athletes should train in small groups and must wash their hands with hydroalcoholic sanitisers before entering the training facilities, while teams are urged to regularly disinfect equipment.
Non-playing personnel (coaches and other staff) should also always wear protective face mask.
4. Teams to get players tested
Prior to reporting to training facilities and residential camps before resuming competitions, teams have been requested to have all their players and other necessary personnel tested and present negative results.
As recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), sporting venues should also be cleaned before and after use.
In this regard, the ministry noted, teams will respect at least one hour to clean and sanitize the area as well as holding a maximum of five sessions not exceeding two hours per day in one facility.
5. Every activity needs ministry’s approval
As opposed to the ordinary way of organising friendly games or competitions, all sporting federations or clubs must seek and have signed approval from the Ministry of Sports before engaging in any match.
Previously, before the Covid-19 pandemic struck in March, federations were in charge of coordinating, approving and scheduling competitions without the involvement of the ministry.