Tanzania: JPM Clears Sports to Restart June 1st

PRESIDENT John Magufuli has picked June 1st this year, as the official date to resume all sports activities in the country, saying by embracing sports, it helps to fight Covid-19 pandemic.

He made the declaration during the swearing in ceremony of newly appointed government leaders held at the State House in Chamwino, Dodoma.

Among other things, he updated the nation about the trend of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"From the trend I have seen, roughly, I am not sure if the country registered any death of a sport person due to Covid-19, simply because by performing sport activities, it really helps to fight coronavirus.

"As a result of this, I declare June 1st as the date to restart all the sport events including the Mainland Premier League, First Division League (FDL), Second Division League (SDL), Military sports and others so that people can effectively take part basing on their preferences," Magufuli said.

He then directed the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Elderly and Children together with the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports to come up with good measures for spectators to enjoy sports, while observing social distancing throughout the transition period.

Again, President Magufuli insisted that there should not be limitations in letting sport events resume, saying even comedy should be entertained from the mentioned date.

"Health experts recommend regular interaction of people as it helps to improve immunity and it also help to fight other diseases apart from the coronavirus," he said.

Recently, the Tanzania Premier League Board (TPLB) said it was taking into consideration various options on how to finish the top flight season including that of letting all remaining games unfold at one centre preferably in Dar es Salaam.

The board's Chairman Stephen Mguto could not deny the fact of using Dar es Salaam as the centre to play the remaining league games of the season of which, many pundits have described as the best way to complete the season.

"There are several options we are currently taking into account as what should be the best way to end the season. If allowing all top flight league clubs to descend in the city for the remaining games will be the best option, then it will be implemented," he said.

He added that the board is also looking on measures to assist the clubs which are in serious financial crisis, insisting that if it works well, they will help the concerned clubs financially before the league resumes.

"For now, clubs should be ready to respect any further instructions to be made from the government and as TPLB, we are ready to resume the league," he said.

Already, TPLB made it clear once the football leagues resumes, players, officials and few reporters who will get access into the playing venues will be tested at the entry points to see if they are safe of the Covid-19 disease.

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