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No hope for sports

Minister of sports calls for plan B

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Carol Bapu

Most sports associations have admitted that it will be difficult to resume sporting activities this year following the gazetting of new regulations restricting public gatherings to just 10 people.

Sporting activities remain suspended in the country. However there was hope that football would resume in September but the new restrictions have ended such hopes.

In separate interviews Sunday, some of the sports associations including Netball Association of Malawi (Nam), Malawi Boxing Association (Maba), Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board (MPBCB) and Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) doubted the prospect of resuming activities before the end of this year.

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Nam General Secretary Carol Bapu said it was a tough situation.

“We don’t see the league being played this year,” Bapu said in a written response.

Netball is yet to resume in some major leagues in the world apart from Australia where Malawi national netball team shooter Mwawi Kumwenda plays for Melbourne Vixens.

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The Vitality Netball Super league in England was cancelled. Three Queens players, shooter Joyce Mvula, Lauren Ngwira and Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda are based in England.

Maba president Pyson Likagwa said they will wait for clearance.

“We were planning to organise a national championship this month [August] or September but now we have postponed,” Likagwa said.

MPBCB president Lonzoe ‘Defector’ Zimba painted a gloomy picture saying: “some of the promoters approached us that they were ready to sponsor boxing if it is beamed on television so we are waiting for consent from government,” he added.

Tanzania is one of the countries in Africa where boxing has resumed. Malawi’s top boxers Israel Kam’mwamba and Salimu Chazama are expected to travel to Tanzania for bout this month.

Minister of Sports Ulemu Msungama doubted if associations would be allowed to hold events this year.

“It is very unlikely that we will have sporting events this year. Under the guidance of Ministry of Health we will continue monitoring the situation to make the best decision,” he said.

Msungama said it was time for sports associations to develop alternative plans should they lose the entire season.

“Perhaps the associations can start making 2021 plans,” he said.

Malawi National Council of Sports suspended all sporting disciplines as a precautionary measure to control the spread of the pandemic.

As of Saturday, Malawi had a total of 4624 confirmed cases with 2152 active cases and 2329 recoveries and 146 deaths.

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