Build Covid-19 protocols

What you need to know:

  • There is growing anxiety as the sporting community awaits the committee’s findings and recommendations.

In March, the government ordered cessation of organised sports events after the first positive cases of Covid-19 were reported in Kenya.

Subsequently, sports clubs were closed and the sporting calendar put on hold. And as global action gradually reopened last month, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed set up an advisory group to put in place protocols that would aid in resumption of sports locally.

The task force — chaired by Sports Chief Administrative Secretary Hassan Noor Hassan — was to submit their report to the Cabinet secretary by July 10 but, just over two weeks later, there is growing anxiety as the sporting community awaits the committee’s findings and recommendations.

While we appreciate the desire by sportspeople to resume play, especially given that our sportsmen and women have lost massive income from the coronavirus-enforced hiatus, federations must be proactive by coming up with protocols of their own before seeking government intervention.

Basic requirements like good sanitation, social distancing, wearing of masks at public venues and pre-competition testing should be articulated at federation level. It is also important to set up Covid-19 champions for the various sports.

Last weekend, the resumption of the Zambian football league was delayed after 28 players and officials in one team tested positive for Covid-19, showing just how exposed we could be.

But while basic public health measures must be embraced, there can’t be a one-size-fits-all solution and the onus is on federations to act.
Meanwhile, we expected a cautious, calculated and phased resumption of sports especially given the rising numbers of positive Covid-19 cases in Kenya.