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Restarting sports with little precaution is not safe

By Faith Kiai

Added 24th June 2020 10:02 AM

The disastrous end to Novak Djokovic’s Adria Tour should be a lesson to the National Council of Sports (NCS) on the need for the resumption of sports but in the safest surroundings.

Restarting sports with little precaution is not safe

Serbia's Novak Djokovic tested positive for coronavirus. AFP PHOTO

The disastrous end to Novak Djokovic’s Adria Tour should be a lesson to the National Council of Sports (NCS) on the need for the resumption of sports but in the safest surroundings.

The presidential address on the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday night raised some eyebrows since there was no communication on sports and the proposed reopening.

It's with such impatience that probably led the number one male tennis player in the world to invite a couple of friends on a tour around the Balkan States of Serbia Bosnia and Croatia. As if the multiple locations were not dangerous enough, they played tennis with very little precaution given to social distancing and masking, etc.

At the net, players were shaking hands and for that form of defiance from some of the biggest players on the planet, the repercussion is six positive tests for COVID-19.

Djokovic after his positive test, apologised for organising the event but without a doubt, it's too little too late.

"Everything we did in the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions. Our tournament meant to unite and share a message of solidarity and compassion throughout the region.

"We organized the tournament at the moment when the virus has weakened, believing that the conditions for hosting the Tour had been met. Unfortunately, this virus is still present, and it is a new reality that we are still learning to cope with and live with," he said.

The same can be said about Uganda where we have only experienced COVID-19 through the daily briefings by the ministry of health and the president. There is a general laxity when it comes to masking and the situation in Nakasero market a few days ago also proves that there is no need to rush.

Even with the Associations sharing standard rules of procedure with the NCS there is no guarantee that there will be follow-through. There should be penalties rolled out for failure to comply with teams involved or defiant fans.

Weeks before, members of the ATP had sounded warnings on the organisation of such a tournament at a time like this, but Djokovic and co went ahead with their vanity event.

There only hope at the moment is that the people who came out in Serbia Bosnia and Croatia have not been affected and haven't caught the infection. Serbia had registered only 263 COVID deaths out of 13,000 cases and 11,000 recoveries which probably gave him confidence.

I believe the same can be said for Uganda because the moment public gatherings are allowed the Government will lose control.

As Associations prepare to reopen the rules of procedure should be made with the pandemic's devastating effects in mind. The disease is here people may not see it but should it move into the masses, it impacts will be devastating.

 So, until there comes a time when the country has registered no COVID-19 cases, then that will be the time sports should get free reign for now, better safe than sorry.

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