Contact sports: Amina faulted for restrictions

Monday, September 21st, 2020 00:00 |
Migori Youth FC (in blue)in a past Betika National Super League match. Photo/PD/ Gibo zachary

The much-awaited declaration of resumption of all sports activities in the country was met with disappointment on Friday after Cabinet Secretary for Sports Amina Mohamed ruled that contact sports remained restricted until further notice.

Amina’s move was met with a public outcry across the country resulting in a  strong disapproval informed by the ministry’s ruling out of any possibility of immediate resumption of contact sports which has been categorised into two groups -- high risk and low risk.

With the ministry clearing non-contact sports like athletics to resume, football (the most loved sport in the country and globally) as well as hockey, netball, basketball, wheelchair basketball, handball, softball, rope jump, floor hockey, goalball, billiards, volleyball, rollball, floorball and pentathlon, among others,  remain suspended for being risky, though the risk is regarded low.

On high risk category stand rugby, boxing, judo, karate, wrestling, tae-kwon-do, wheelchair rugby, baseball, kabaddi, tong-il moo do, kick-boxing, skating football, amputee football, team building activities, kungfu, chess, scrabble and Ajua as per the ministry, all of which have received the red flag in their bid for resumption.

 Following these directives, several affected stakeholders have voiced their disagreement and registered displeasure with the ministry, accusing it of conducting its resumption protocol exercise with one eye closed.

“It’s with great disappointment to the football fraternity to receive the recommendations issued by the Ministry of Sports on the resumption of sporting activities.

As far as the Fifa calendar is concerned, the country is way behind schedule and postponing the resumption is detrimental,” a displeased Migori Youth FC chairman Abdi Aziz Osman opined.

For handball lovers, the news was a punch below the belt. The Victoria Handball Super League committee, after cancelling the 2019/2020 season last weekend, was busy organising their usual post-season Super Cup as well as the annual five-aside tournament but with the sport being flagged as risky, this is a big blow according to league director Robert Owino.

Chess Kenya on their side said they are optimistic they will be cleared to resume, saying that the ministry could have made a clerical error in listing chess as one of the risky sports.

“We’ll appeal the directive and the process will be initiated soon. In the first draft regulations chess was not a high risk sport, this might be an error from their end. ,” said Chess Kenya vice president Duke Michieka.

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