Daily Trust

Foot­ball to re­sume as gov­ern­ment lifts re­stric­tions on con­tact sports

- By David Ngobua &Ab­bas Ji­moh Sports · Nigeria Politics · African Politics · Politics · Nigeria · Nigeria national football team · Abuja · Muhammadu Buhari · Boss Mustapha

The sport­ing fra­ter­nity in Nige­ria, es­pe­cially foot­ball stake­hold­ers yes­ter­day heaved a sigh of re­lief as the gov­ern­ment through the Pres­i­den­tial Task Force on COVID-19 lifted re­stric­tions on out­door ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing foot­ball.

The Sec­re­tary to the Gov­ern­ment of the Fed­er­a­tion (SGF) and Chair­man, Pres­i­den­tial Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha who an­nounced the de­ci­sion in Abuja at the joint na­tional brief­ing of the Task Force said this was part of the PTF’s rec­om­men­da­tions ap­proved by Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari.

He, how­ever, said this was not prej­u­di­cial to the ob­ser­vance of the PTF guide­lines on mass gath­er­ing, usage of face­masks and other COVID-19 pro­to­cols.

He said, "The ma­jor changes pro­posed by the PTF are grad­ual and safe re-open­ing of schools and NYSC camps; re-com­mence­ment of sport­ing leagues, in par­tic­u­lar all out­door ac­tiv­i­ties such as foot­ball; sus­tain­ing the mid­night to 4am curfew on move­ment na­tion­wide; and re­moval of the lim­i­ta­tion on civil ser­vants al­lowed to come to work."

In the same vein, the Na­tional Co­or­di­na­tor of the Pres­i­den­tial Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu, said mass gath­er­ing in­clud­ing at sport events is still re­stricted as this rep­re­sents an op­por­tu­nity for the virus to spread with an in­creased rate of a sec­ond wave.

The im­pli­ca­tion is that for now foot­ball will re­open with­out spec­ta­tors in the sport­ing are­nas.

It will be re­called that fol­low­ing the out­break of the deadly coro­n­avirus, the fed­eral gov­ern­ment sus­pended all sport­ing ac­tiv­i­ties since the be­gin­ning of March.

The Nige­rian Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion fol­lowed suit as it an­nounced the sus­pen­sion of all on-field foot­ball ac­tiv­i­ties be­fore the even­tual can­cel­la­tion of the foot­ball sea­son.

How­ever, fol­low­ing the re­sump­tion of al­most all sport­ing ac­tiv­i­ties else­where, be­gin­ning with the ma­jor foot­ball leagues in Europe, sports stake­hold­ers in Nige­ria have con­tin­ued to mount pres­sure on the gov­ern­ment to lift re­stric­tions on con­tact sports.

 ??  ?? Charles Atsemene of Warri Wolves cel­e­brates his goal against FC Ifeany­iUbah in the aborted 2020 Nige­ria Pro­fes­sional Foot­ball League sea­son
Charles Atsemene of Warri Wolves cel­e­brates his goal against FC Ifeany­iUbah in the aborted 2020 Nige­ria Pro­fes­sional Foot­ball League sea­son

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