Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama says government is waiting for Presidential Task Force on Covid-19’s recommendation regarding the resumption of sport.
The minister was commenting on government’s position on sport resumption yesterday.
Sporting activities were suspended in March this year as a preventive measure to control the further spread of the virus.
He said: “The determination on when sport can resume will have to come from the task force and the Ministry of Health because they are the experts in that field.
“If anything, we will just endorse whatever they will recommend. So, the ball is in their court. We will just act as per their determination.”
However, the minister had a word of caution.
Said Msungama: “Covid-19 cases and deaths are on the rise and it would be irresponsible for us to restart sport now. Let us be patient, let us save lives.
“There are a number of factors we have to consider because even if football was to restart without spectators, will it guarantee the safety of the players? And what if we will have fans gathering outside the stadia?”
The minister also said the development in Zambia where they have been forced to cancel the league barely two weeks after resumption “should give us food for thought”.
The Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 co-chairperson Dr John Phuka was not available for comment.
Ministry of Health spokesperson Joshua Malango said: “ The disease is still at its peak now and therefore would not be ready to open for sports. Take note that globally, sporting functions are a potential site for transmission.”
Echoing the minister’s sentiments, Malawi national Council of Sports acting executive secretary Henry Mereka said: “There is no other direction… Sports activities will remain suspended as the cases are still rising, posing threats to lives of Malawians.”
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu said they will not be pushed to pile pressure on government to resume football.
“This is a disaster and the cases are rising everyday. Our brothers and sisters are losing their lives everyday due to Covid-19
“At an appropriate time, the authorities will guide us accordingly,” he said.
As of yesterday, there were a total of 4 231 confirmed cases and 123 deaths.