By Olawale Ayeni, Abuja
After seven months of lock- down, the federal government through the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, (PTF) has lifted the ban on contact sports in the country.
The national coordinator of PTF, Dr. Sani Aliyu, disclosed this during its briefing in Abuja yesterday. Recall that, the federal government had suspended all sporting activities in March, following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aliyu said that football and other contact sports can resume without fans with strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocol in line with the NCDC to avoid any spread of the virus.
“The lifting of restrictions on outdoor sporting activities including football is in line with earlier consultations with the federal ministry of youth and sports development with the NCDC” he said.
“However, it’s limited to the actual sports itself and not with mass gatherings,” he added. According to him, “in this regards, mass gathering for sports events is still restricted as this represents an opportunity for the virus to spread with an increased risk of the second wave.”
The minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, while commending the PTF for lifting the ban on contact sports, insisted on full compliance with all COVID-19 protocols before the organisation of any sporting event.
“We welcome the lifting of ban on football by the PTF. The ministry has done all that’s necessary and required, especially with regard to the COVID-19 protocols. The PTF, Health Ministry and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) have been guided appropriately”.
The federal government had earlier announced partial opening of sports, especially the noncontact sports.