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Govt okays sport restart, but

GVERNMENT has given the greenlight for the resumption of sporting activities classiffed as low-risk, while high-risk codes such as rugby and football remain locked out.

GVERNMENT has given the greenlight for the resumption of sporting activities classiffed as low-risk, while high-risk codes such as rugby and football remain locked out.

By Fortune Mbele

Among the low-risk sport codes allowed to resume is cricket, which involves minimal to no contact — a development which paves way for the national team to resume preparations for possible tours against India and Australia.

Football has been classiffed as high-risk and this means Premier Soccer League teams cannot resume training.

Correspondence sent to sports associations yesterday by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) shows that 11 sport codes classiffied as high-risk will have to wait a little longer.

SRC director-general Prince Mupazviriho said: “The Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation and the Sports and Recreation Commission are keen to facilitate for the resumption of sporting activities by clubs and associations that had been ceased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the degree of transmission risk varies from one sport code to the next, sport codes have been categorised as low, medium and high-risk.”

He said the resumption was only for training activities and for competitions, adding that clearance would only be done by Sport minister Kirsty Coventry.

Other codes set to resume soon include athletics, swimming, triathlon, tennis, table tennis, golf, archery, pool, rowing, cycling, equestrian, fencing, motorsport, chess, darts, draughts and goalball.

Medium-risk disciplines include baseball, softball, gymnastics, weightlifting, bowling and badminton and they too can resume activity if they meet set guidelines.

Among the high-risk codes are popular contact sporting disciplines like rugby, basketball, volleyball, boxing, netball, wrestling, field hockey, waterpolo, taekwondo and handball.

Key considerations for resumption of activities will include health checks for athletes, that is physical distancing among participants, disinfection and cleaning of facilities, discouraging sharing of equipment, daily COVID-19 symptoms checks, availability of masks, sanitisers for athletes and officials and practising strict hygiene like washing of hands, among other regulations that guide against the spread of the coronavirus.

Football clubs have started to feel the pinch of the extended delay in the opening of the season with some struggling to continue paying idle players.

Dynamos will soon introduce salary cuts to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus-induced delay in the start to the season.

Caps United are struggling to pay their April salaries and this has caused unease in their camp.

Highlanders have weaned of their coach Mark Harrison because they cannot finance his United States-dollar monthly salary.

The two parties came up with a strange arrangement of suspending the coach’s contract and he will be returning home to Britain tomorrow.

Local football mother body Zifa had tentatively set August or September as possible dates for the start of local leagues matches, but even that has been thrown into doubt following the latest government pronouncements.