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Sports to return in phases

To depend on associations preparedness

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State House says the resumption of sports in the country will be in phases depending on the preparedness of respective associations.

Director of Communications at State House Sean Kampondeni made the remarks during State House weekly press briefing at Kamuzu Palace on Monday.

“All social activities will resume according to readiness of various associations. It is a case of which sporting activities will resume at different times based on their readiness with sensitivity to the measures for curbing the spread of Covid-19. It is a fluid situation which requires constant review and assessment,” he said.

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His comments come as National Disaster Preparedness and Relief Committee and Ministry of Youth and Sports are expected to have another virtual meeting on the resumption of the game.

Last week’s meeting failed to come up with actual date of the resumption for sports after the committee observed irregularities in the roadmap. The Relief Committee which comprises Principal Secretaries from all ministries noted that for safe sports return, all protocols should be followed to combat the spread of Covid-19.

According to Kampondeni, strict guidelines that led to the re-opening of schools and airports will also apply to sports in the country.

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The uncertainty surrounding sports return has put Football Association of Malawi (Fam) in tight spot ahead of upcoming tournaments. Flames are expected to take part in this year’s Cosafa Cup slated for October 2 to 17 in Durban, South Africa before facing Burkina Faso in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers in November.

Fam has put on hold plans to start preparations for the tournaments waiting for government’s nod. The association has put strict conditions for Flames camping including disinfecting Mpira Village and testing the players.

Fam president Walter Nyamilandu was not readily available for his comment Tuesday. However, Nyamilandu recently said the association was facing race against time to prepare for the competitions.

Meanwhile, Boxing Association of Malawi (Maba) said it has also put in place strict measures on the resumption of the sport.

Maba president Pyson Likagwa said the association was ready for the commencement of sport.

“We have put strict measures to be followed by all boxers so we are keeping fingers crossed,” he said.

Last week, Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama gave the sports fraternity false hopes when he said sports could resume on Monday this week.

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