The Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) and the National Sports Authority (NSA) on Tuesday met with heads of all contact sports associations and federations to find ways to implement the various measures of government, regarding the lifting of ban on contact sports.
The President, Nana Akufo-Addo on Sunday in his 17th COVID-19 Update lifted the ban on football and other contact sports but with strict adherence to specific health guidelines to curb the spread of the virus.
”Government has taken the decision to allow the resumption of training in all contact sports, taking into consideration the imminent participation of our national teams in international competitions. Indeed, some national teams have already been given the dispensation to begin training, ahead of their international engagements. All sports people, who are camped, are to be tested regularly, “the President said.
”With respect to football, after due consultations with the Ghana Football Association, it has been decided that the Ghana Premier League and the Division One Football League will restart on Friday, October 30, with a full regime of testing of the players, technical and management staff.
He, however, cautioned that spectators will not be allowed at the training centres, and, when actual competition resumes, seating at all stadia will be limited to 25 per cent capacity to ensure social distancing with the wearing of masks by spectators at stadia mandatory.
According to the President, the restart of all other sporting competitions will be determined on a case-by-case basis, pending consultations between the (MoYS) and the respective sport associations,” he added.
The federation/association heads expressed gratitude to government for the support so far and congratulated it for the manner it has managed the pandemic.
Regarding the testing of all athletes before training commences, they appealed to government to absorb that cost since a number of them lack the resources to undertake that exercise.
They also called for the expansion of the YEA relief package for sports men and women which is currently paying monthly stipends to 1000 athletes, saying that an expansion will cushion the life of the athletes.
Director-General of the National Sports Authority (NSA) Professor Peter Twumasi, informed the meeting that the NSA was set to compile a timetable of sporting activities for all sports associations from now till end of 2021 and use this to guide implementation of various protocols.
Present at the meeting were GFA boss, Mr. Kurt Okraku, Ghana Rugby boss Mr. Herbert Mensah, Ghana Taekwondo Federation president, Mr. Frederick Lartey Otu, Ghana Boxing Federation president, Mr. George Lamptey and Dr Ben Asante of the Hockey Association Ghana (HAG).
The rest were Karate do chairman, Mr. Melvin Brown, Badminton Association of Ghana (BAG) Mr. Evans Yeboah, Mr. Albert Frimpong for the Baseball fraternity, Rev. Nikoi for Netball, Ms Christie Ashley for Chess, Ghana Arm Wrestling president, Mr. Charles Osei Asibey and others.
BY TIMES SPORTS REPORTER