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Nigerian Government Lifts Ban on Contact Sports1 minute read

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The Presidential Task Force (PTF) set up by the Nigerian government on Covid-19 alongside the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development in the country have lifted the ban on contact sports.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the ban was lifted because of the reduction in the cases of Covid-19 across the country.

The Nigerian government had suspended all sporting activities in March due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic to curtail the spread of the virus.

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare via his Twitter handle stated that the news was a welcome development.

“We welcome the lifting of D ban on football by the PTF.

“The lifting of restriction on outdoor activities including football is in line with earlier consultations with Ministry of Youth and Sports and NCDC. However, this is limited to the actual sports itself & not mass gathering”. The minister twitted.

The ministry also stated that there are Covid-19 protocols that must be followed as well.

“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 also guided appropriately,” the statement said.

Football activities are now expected to resume across Nigeria without the fans in the stadia.

Following this development, the League Management Company (LMC) is expected to announce the date for the start of the new league season.

On March 18, the LMC announced the suspension of the 2019/2020 league season caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

After much deliberations, the Points Per Game option was used in picking the country’s representatives for the CAF club competitions, while there was no promotion or relegation across all of the leagues.

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East Africa Sports News

Gor Mahia captain confident ahead of new season

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Captain of Kenyan Premier League (KPL) side Gor Mahia, Kenneth Muguna says his side is not worried about the 2020/2021 season as they are targeting maximum points in all their matches.

Muguna says the team is only focusing on being ready for the new season and not the league fixtures.

“We are not concentrating so much on the fixtures, we are not worried about it at all,” Muguna said.

“We are focused on being ready before the league resumes because I know once we are physically and mentally ready, we can tackle any team on earth.

“We are going to try and win all our matches because we know by doing so, we stand a chance of winning trophies at the end of the season.”

K’Ogalo recently appointed a new Brazilian coach Roberto Oliveira and added some new players to the team.

“The team is fine so far, we are creating a bond that will make us operate together as a team – the aim is, to find a working formula,” Muguna added.

Also, new Gor Mahia signing, Bernard Ondiek says the fans should wait for the start of the new league season with optimism.

“We are geared for the season start and we have new players who are really gelling well as expected. Gor Mahia always get good players and for the fans, I want you to expect much [more] from us than we gave last season,” he said.

“For now, I can say all the focus is on the Champions League, and obviously we have been there and we know what to do. Since we have some experiences in the Champions League, we are now well prepared to tackle it more than the other seasons.

“All we are going for is the Champions League as it is a nice experience for every player in this team. But again, if you do not prepare well, it will be hard to make it.

“All I can say is the fans should be geared for it and I am very happy and confident because we will do good in the Champions League.”

Gor Mahia are set to start off their new season with a fixture against 11-time KPL champions Tusker FC, and later face Ulinzi Stars, Mathare United, Sofapaka FC, and newly promoted Bidco United.

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Two Zimbabwean Cricketers Test Positive for Covid-19

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Regis Chakabva and Timycen Maruma have tested positive for Coronavirus, Zimbabwe Cricket have confirmed.

Both players who are not part of the Zimbabwean team currently touring Pakistan, were room mates for a week in a bio-secure bubble set for players on standby at the ZC Academy House in Harare.

Also, two members of staff providing support services at the same facility tested positive to the coronavirus after screening and tests were done to close contacts of Chakabva and Maruma.

The rest of the Chevrons tested negative before leaving for Pakistan and upon arrival. They are set to undergo another round of coronavirus test at the end of their quarantine period.

Chakabva, Maruma and the two infected backroom staffs are observing a period of self-isolation in accordance with Covid-19 protocols.

“We wish the four a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming them back to work soon,” ZC said in a statement.

“The health and well-being of our players, and staff, remains our highest priority at ZC.

“Therefore, apart from providing support to those infected, and affected, we will continue to adhere to Government and public health guidelines with regards to our facilities and staff and will be taking further steps to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“In the meantime, ZC has temporarily closed the Academy House for disinfection.”
The Chevrons are scheduled to face Pakistan in three one-day international matches in Rawalpindi.

All three ODIs will be day-night affairs.

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Kaizer Chiefs Duo Position Under Threat

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Coach of South African Premier League side Kaizer Chiefs, Gavin Hunt says his experienced players Willard Katsande and Bernard Parker are not guaranteed starters in his team anymore as he has impressive young players coming through the ranks.

Hunt made a promise to give playing opportunities to young talents after he was impressed with their performance in their MTN8 quarter-final victory over Maritzburg United.

Hunt has specifically mentioned Katsande and Parker as players who’s position in the team is under threat from the young players.

“These guys [Katsande and Parker] have given some unbelievable service to football. They have won a lot of trophies, they have been here for some time,” Hunt said.

“I understand that people are always looking for something special. But until somebody comes up, like right now with our situation, and puts his hand up and says ‘I am willing.’ Willard and Bernard both know that these young players are good like the young [Njabulo] Bloem in Katsande’s place.

“He had a fantastic game [against Maritzburg United], came on and changed the game. But he has to be on a consistency level of playing. I have to give him opportunities, which I will do.

“And he has to keep on challenging Willard, and Willard has to say, ‘These people are on my case.’ Like in all sports, like in boxing when you get older, somebody is going to be better than you.

“Same as Bernard, he has some young boys up there, the [Lebogang] Lesako, [Keletso] Sifama coming up. These boys are going to be challenging him. But right now I don’t see players being put out of position unless somebody really puts his hand up and says, ‘Right, I’m here.’ Look at Bloem on Sunday.”

Parker played the whole 90mins against Maritzburg, while Katsande was suspended for the game.

Chiefs first game of the new Premier Soccer League season will be against rivals Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday.

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