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Minister Ulemu Msungama hopeful that Covid taskforce will allow sports return

Ulemu Msungama

Khumbize Kandodo-Chiponda

Sports Minister Ulemu Msungama has urged the Presidential Taskforce on Covid to consider the return of all sports activities in the country.

The taskforce is due to meet today to review some of the measures that were put in place to minimise the spread of coronavirus.

Msungama said he believed that the taskforce would allow all sports activities to return as proposed by his ministry.

“We are all united in the fight against Covid, which has affected everyone, the sports sector included. Our goal is to fight coronavirus every step of the way by adhering to preventive measures.

“Generally, there has been an increase in the number of recoveries since stricter measures were put in place. Cases of death have also gone down over time. This is what gives us hope that the taskforce will allow sports to return,” he said.

Msungama said failing to restart football this month would compromise Malawi National Football Team’s chances of qualifying for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Lilongwe City South East Member of Parliament said the sports fraternity is ready to adhere to all Covid prevention measures.

“Indications on the ground are that the pandemic will be with us for some time and all we need is to follow all precautionary measures. Our counterparts in other countries have not stopped playing football and other sporting activities, so why should we?

“We have seen leagues actively running in the midst of the pandemic. All stakeholders are doing is adhere to preventive measures while continuing with their respective activities. I therefore believe that the meeting will consider sports to return,” Msungama said.

Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda only said she would respond later while her Information counterpart Gospel Kazako had not responded to WhatsApp questions by yesterday evening.

Soccer pundit Kelvin Moyo said the taskforce needed to incorporate Msungama, who would represent interests of the sports fraternity.

“Msungama’s ministry is also a major stakeholder in the fight against Covid. Youth and sports are a big constituency that needs to be represented in the taskforce. It would have been more convenient for the Sports Minister to be making such calls from within the committee,” Moyo said.

Recently, Football Association of Malawi submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Youth and Sports for football resumption later this month.

Super League of Malawi suspended the elite league after President Lazarus Chakwera announced a ban on gatherings of over 50 people.

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