Coronavirus: professional competitive sport is approaching a return to South Africa

South Africa Cricket Team

Professional competitive sport in South Africa has taken one step closer to its return following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

This follows the weekend’s announcement by Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa that contactless codes, including swimming, cricket, athletics, tennis and golf, would be allowed in Level 3 of the conditions. country lockdown.

While training will also be permitted in contact sports such as rugby and football, matches will not be permitted.

Mthethwa also said discussions with football and rugby administrators are underway, but ministry director general Vusumusi Mkhize suggested level 1 (the lowest level) of the lockdown was a realistic prediction at the time. where contact sports can resume competition.

Before any return to competition or training, sports organizations and professional clubs must provide the Minister with details, in writing and within 14 days, of the resumption date as well as an operational directive on how they will ensure player safety. and officials involved.

“One of the objectives of the management is to enable non-contact professional sport to host, in a phased manner, sporting events without spectators or professional athletes to train, whether it is contact or non-contact sport. “Mthethwa told a news outlet. Report.

The announcement could potentially pave the way for South Africa’s men’s cricket team to host India in a series of three T20 games behind closed doors in late August.

The annual Nedbank Challenge golf tournament, titled Africa’s Major, is now also set to take place in Sun City on its rescheduled date of December 3-6.

While the country’s professional rugby and football teams may have to wait a bit longer before getting the green light to resume play, being allowed to practice has encouraged them to be able to resume in the near future.

Amateur codes remained frustrated, however, and many made moves to resume amid the serious prospect of closure due to financial losses.

Sara R. Cicero