Soccer ball (Photo by Francisco Estrada/LatinContent via Getty Images)
- The Department of Sport will allow sports to return around the country as long as they adhere to certain protocols.
- This includes a list of demands that must be met.
- No sporting body can allow any sport to take place without prior approval.
The Department of Sport and Recreation has highlighted the process that sporting bodies around the country must undertake to allow their various sports to return as lockdown levels are lowered.
When the initial lockdown was announced towards the end of March, sport across the country came to a grinding halt.
However, with the country now in level three lockdown, preparations are underway that will see soccer, rugby and cricket and other sports eventually return as restrictions are lifted further.
While golf is one of the major sports now allowed during level three, the government has issued a list of requirements by which sports bodies must comply before the resumption of either training or matches.
This applies to both contact and non-contact sports.
The procedure will see sporting bodies applying in writing to the minister of sport informing him on the date of the resumption of training or playing. This application must include all compliance matters as outlined in the directions gazetted on 11 June by government.
The following must must be taken into account:
- The testing of athletes
- Waiting period for the testing results
- Cleaning and disinfection of sporting venues
- Appointment of a compliance officer
- Preparation of the register
- Procurement of screening equipment
- Development of a transportation plan
- Procurement of sanitisers and masks
- Planning around the issue of catering
- Development of a training methodology
- The sporting venues to be utilised
- Any alternative venue for when previous venues or areas in which they are located have been declared a hotspot
- Identification of an isolation area
Sports bodies are expected to submit their plan within 14 days after the publication of the directions gazetted on 11 June.
Once these plans have been submitted the sports minister will determine if they meet the directions set out.
In coming to a decision, the Department of Sport may consult with the Department of Health regarding compliance with health protocols including whether it is feasible to resume matches or training in areas declared as hotspots and the level of risk involved.
The sports minister will then approve or decline the application based on the recommendation of the his appointed team and the relevant sports body will be informed of the decision.
Cricket was set to become one of the first team sport to return to action on 27 June when Cricket South Africa announced the Solidarity Cup last week.
That match, which sees three teams in action at the same time in an innovative new format, has now been postponed.
– Compiled by Sport24 staff