In light of the growing threat that the coronavirus (COVID-19) poses to the World, the Ministry of sports has called on the International sports bodies to consider cancelling or postponing all international games and competitions in which Rwandan teams and Athletes were to participate.
This, the ministry says is one of the preventive measures against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in sports events.
No case has been registered in Rwanda so far, but Rwanda has stepped up prevention measures from the pandemic that has affected over 100 countries across the world.
In a statement released this afternoon, the ministry outlined a number of measures for the sports community to consider. The measures include avoiding all unessential public sports gatherings.
“The Ministry advises the cancellation of all international games and competitions in which Rwandan teams and Athletes were to participate,” the statement signed off by Sports Minister Aurore Mimosa Munyangaju reads in part.
The statements added: “The Ministry also advises National Sports Federations to consult with their respective International Bodies on concerns about participating In planned games in countries with COVID- 19 infection risk for guidance and consideration to inform appropriate measures,”
Rwanda national football team made up of local-based players is expected to participate in the African Nations Championship (CHAN 2020) due to take place from 4-25 April 2020.
The senior national football team is also scheduled to play against Cape Verde in two weeks’ time in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON 2021) qualifiers.
The national basketball league champions, Patriots Basketball Club, was due to participate in the inaugural Africa Basketball league. Bu the league, which was planned to begin on March 15, was postponed to a later date due to coronavirus pandemic.
In the statement released this Thursday, the Ministry of sports informed all National Federations that planned international competitions that were to be hosted in Rwanda will be assessed and if necessary, be cancelled or postponed to future dates to be considered.
However, ongoing national tournaments will continue as planned, the statement said. But local authorities and sports federations have been asked to ensure enforce preventive measures at stadiums, sports courts, sports event gathering to minimize infection risks in coordination with the Sports Sector COVID- 19 Task Force.
“Spectators are allowed to attend the tournaments in the highest respect for COVID- 19 preparedness and prevention measures on-site. If assessed inevitable some games will be taking place behind closed doors.
“It is mandatory for all sports establishments to enforce prevention measures with sanitary facilities at entry gates, locker-rooms and food courts for all spectators, officials, and players to use before entering the venue,” the statement added.