The Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 has set October 17 as date for the resumption of training for all sporting disciplines in the country.
This comes just a week after the Task Force allowed Flames to start training ahead of upcoming international tournaments including the Cosafa Cup in South Africa next month and Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against Burkina Faso in November.
Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo-Chiponda, who is also Co-chairperson of the Presidential Task Force, disclosed this at a press briefing held at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe Thursday.
“Indeed, we had a meeting with the sports ministry and they brought a roadmap, so we adopted the sports restart model as presented by sports ministry allowing teams to resume training on October 17. We believe all the sporting codes will adhere to Covid-19 preventive measures which include testing of all players and technical staff before training.
“We allowed them on the basis that athletes need to get stamina before actual start of the games. We are encouraged with the situation on the ground,” Kandodo Chiponda said.
However, the Task Force said it will continue monitoring the situation on Covid-19 pandemic. The Task Force could not disclose if fans would be allowed to watch the games or not saying the issue would be discussed in the forthcoming meetings.
In the sports restart roadmap, the Ministry of Youth and Sports proposed testing of the players and coaches, disinfecting sports venues and quarantine of athletes.
All venues required to have special rooms for isolation for those suspected to be Covid-19 positive. Athletes are also not allowed to use public transport. Between now and October, the players and technical staff will undergo tests in readiness for the resumption of the training.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) president Walter Nyamilandu was excited with the development.
“This is a step in the right direction. We appreciate the understanding that has been demonstrated by the government for sports to resume. This news comes as a huge relief having not played any football activity this year. We are delighted that the beautiful game that is patronise by most people will be back soon,” Nyamilandu said.
Sports was suspended in March this year due to Covid-19 pandemic. Other countries in the Cosafa Region are also working on the resumption of sports while following Covid-19 preventive measures.
As of yesterday, the country had recorded one new case with 23 recoveries.