Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda says the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 is yet to get a proposed roadmap from the Ministry of Youth and Sports as regards sports restart.
She was responding to a question on whether the Task Force discussed the issue on Thursday as planned.
In an interview yesterday, the minister, who is also the Task Force’s co-chaiperson, said: “When I checked with [my] co-chairperson Dr. [John] Phuka, it was established that sports was not represented.
“So, we have asked [Dodma] Department of Department of Disaster Management Affairs to help them with the guidelines.
“If that is done, then it can be discussed next week so that the process can be fast-tracked.”
Chiponda said the proposal that they have is from some individual sports codes such as Cricket Malawi, “who are also saying they want to start, but we want a roadmap from sports in general”.
She said: “So, we have reminded the Ministry of Youth and Sports to furnish us with documentation on how best sports can return.
On Wednesday, the minister observed that sports is suffering due to the suspension and feared that further delays to restart the industry could have serious consequences.
“There is an economic impact being felt by the sports industry due to the suspension of sports activities. It is livelihood to many people. This is why we have put it on our agenda,” she was quoted as having said by our sister newspaper The Nation.
That aside, Chiponda said the industry has the obligation to ensure safety of its stakeholders.
“This is why we want to come up with the best preventative measures that must be strictly followed to guarantee safety of the players, referees and all those involved,” she said.
Chiponda added that like other sectors, sports must learn to live with the Covid-19 pandemic, saying it will take time to wipe it out.
Ministry of Youth and Sports spokesperson Simon Mbvundula yesterday asked for more time to follow up on the issue with the ministry’s director of sports [Jameson Ndalama].
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) is one of the sports associations that presented a proposed roadmap for football restart.