Namibia: Sport Ponders Next Manoeuvre

23 September 2020

THE Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) is "still consulting" on how to go about reactivating contact sport in the country following the end of a six-month-long Covid-19-induced state of emergency.

Several major events have already been called off and shelved until next year, but others were on ice till health restrictions were relaxed.

NSC chief administrator Freddy Mwiya says the commission would announce how high-risk codes may resume by the end of the week.

Sports fans too are longing to return to the stadiums, but health experts say the stands are among the highest-risk areas for coronavirus transmission.

Under national regulations, only 50 people may gather at any given time, while they must observe safety protocols.

"It is not straightforward with sport. We are still expected to maintain social distancing and wear masks but at the same time you can do contact sport. There must be some exceptions with the regulations because of the nature of sport," Mwiya told The Namibian Sport on Tuesday.

"That's why we are consulting with the sports ministry about the way forward. We will send a directive to the codes once we have all the information."

Other contact codes could go the route of the Namibia Football Association, which on Tuesday confined the Brave Warriors to a 'bubble' for the duration of their training camp for upcoming matches.

Isolating an entire team or competition at one location is, however, a costly exercise and may not work for federations with much fewer resources.

The Brave Warriors were tested before going into camp. They will train twice daily at the NFA Technical Centre, which was also disinfected is off limits to the public, and head straight back to their loggings, said acting secretary general Franco Cosmos.

This arrangement only applies for Namibia's international assignments, with domestic league action expected to commence early next year or when the pandemic has subsided.

The team is also expected to be tested again before leaving for South Africa where they have a friendly match against the hosts on 5 October and potential Cosafa Senior Challenge from 2 to 17 October.

It has been a challenging period for sport this year, with the uncertainty gripping the sector.

In May, about 26 disciplines were given the green light to resume sporting activities as part of the relaxation of the country's Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. The number grew to accommodate all codes in July, before another grounding through August and early September.

It now remains to be seen how long the status quo would last and which codes still intend to host events.

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