Malawi National Council of Sports says associations will be required to submit detailed reports on how they will implement the Covid-19 preventive guidelines before they can be allowed to resume their activities.
Sports Council acting executive secretary Henry Mereka yesterday said this was communicated to the associations during a meeting held on Saturday.
He said: “Each association needs to come up with an implementation plan that will suit their respective codes in line with the general guidelines.
“It was made clear to the associations during the meeting that those that will not submit the implementation plans will not be allowed to start.”
Mereka said during the meeting, some of the associations sought clarifications which were duly outlined.
He also said with the pandemic, sports codes should appreciate that things will never be the same.
“They need to expect and embrace changes and we emphasised on that during the meeting,” Mereka said.
He also said that the sports codes are divided into two groups—contact and non-contact.
“So, for the non-contact codes such as chess, draughts, golf and tennis, implementation of the guidelines should be much easier and cheaper as all they will need are the basic preventive equipment, unlike contact sports which will require frequent tests of athletes and officials,” he said.
Mereka said Ministry of Health will provide Covid-19 testing services for players and officials at no cost.
“But obviously there will be other expenses such as PPE [personal protective equipment] and these are the changes that the sports fraternity should expect.
“So, there will be need to plan activities differently than before,” he said.
Football Association of Malawi president Walter Nyamilandu said the football restart protocol the association shared with government, contains all the necessary guidelines.
“For us, we are good to go. The Ministry of Health and Ministry of Youth and Sports are already impressed with the blueprint. We already did all the ground work,” he said.
On her part, Netball Association of Malawi general secretary Carol Bapu said: “We have our implementation plan, but we are just modifying so that it should be in line with the guidelines that Sports Council has put in place. But we are looking up to Sports Council to help us with resources.”
Basketball Association of Malawi general secretary Peter Gomani yesterday said they already drafted their plan.
He said: “In fact, we already presented it to Sports Council. However, what I can say is that drafting the plan is not difficult but implementation due to the heavy financial resource requirement.
“Nevertheless, we commend government for the guidelines because it is imperative to follow the measures to safeguard lives of the athletes and other stakeholders.”
Speaking when she announced the approval of sports resumption during a press conference held in Lilongwe last Thursday, Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo-Chiponda, who is also the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 co-chairperson, said: “We believe all sporting codes will adhere to Covid-19 preventive measures which include testing of players and all technical staff.”