Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC), Dr Fehmida Mirza said on Friday that a date would be announced after ‘Eid-ul-Azha’ as how and when to resume the sports activities across the country by taking on board all the stakeholders.
A flare-up in coronavirus pandemic put on halt all the sports activities in Pakistan in the middle of March, while all the events were scrapped for an indefinite period.
“We are preparing standard operating procedures (SOPs) with the consensus of all the four provinces, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan to resume sports activities. After the conclusion of the Eid festival, we will announce a date to start the games in three phases,” Fehmida told APP.
Spelling out the details, she said in the first phase, the games such as badminton and table tennis wherein it was easier to maintain social distancing would be opened.
She said in the second phase, team games would be started while adhering to the safety measures. “In the third phase, we will invite the foreign teams of different disciplines to visit Pakistan to chip in some events here.
Referring to the national cricket team’s tour to England, she said Pakistan’s response for the resumption of international sports activities had been very positive as it sent cricket outfit to England, giving a message to the world that healthy activities should continue.
About the Common Wealth Sports Ministers Video Conference that took place on Thursday, the minister said views were exchanged on the challenges posed to sports due to coronavirus. “In the meeting, the sports ministers shared their views on how sports activities have been affected in their countries because of COVID-19 and what steps their governments are taking to ward off the challenges,” she said.
She said all international sports events were postponed and the athletes had been badly affected.
“The meeting also talked about the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed due to COVID-19. It was discussed that if a vaccine is not discovered in time, then whether these will happen in 2021 or will be pushed to 2022.” The minister said human rights issues were also discussed in the meeting as players might suffer from depression during the shutdown period.
Dr Fehmida said she briefed the sports ministers about the latest situation of coronavirus in Pakistan and the measures taken by the government to control it. “I told them that our government has formed a Command and Control Center to ensure effective coordination among the federal and provincial governments to tackle the pandemic.—APP