Sports resumption could be delayed

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Leemisa Thuseho

THE resumption of sporting activities could be further delayed due to the increase in the number of Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases, the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) has said.

Tomorrow is the deadline for national sports federations to submit their resumption plans to the LSRC.

The LSRC had initially given the associations until 19 June 2020 before extending the deadline by two weeks. The deadline was extended to give the associations ample time to prepare their resumption plans.

All sporting activities were stopped in March this year when the country went into lockdown to fight the deadly Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Although Lesotho has now recorded 35 cases of Covid-19, the government has relaxed the lockdown regulations and sporting activities had appeared set to resume under strict guidelines.

LSRC public relations officer Teboho Rakhomo on Monday told the Lesotho Times that the increasing number of the cases is posing a threat to the resumption of sport”.

“There are high chances that the increasing number can delay the resumption of sports and we have to be ready for anything.”

The LSRC has classified its affiliates from low, medium to high risk before allowing them to resume operations.

In consultation with the Ministry of Health, the LSRC has provided the federations with guidelines that they must follow.

The LSRC says it will implement health checks and screenings for all participants before trainings and competitions.

Camping teams must also ensure that their personnel are tested while athletes are not allowed to interact with the public.

“Identified and approved facilities must be fumigated daily and between sessions if necessary. No sharing of equipment will be allowed,” the LSRC said.

Rakhomo is also worried that associations are likely to face financial challenges in attempting to adhere to the given guidelines.

“Due to the fact that the federations and the commission are struggling financially, it is obvious that the resumption of sporting activities will require the ministry’s financial assistance.

“Federations don’t have money; we didn’t give them their annual subvention in the last financial year because we were given only M2 million by the ministry and that only covered operational costs… Even this year, we are not sure how much we will get,” Rakhomo said.

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