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City of Banjul
Friday, January 22, 2021

POLITICAL RALLIES ALLOWED, SPORTS EVENTS STILL BANNED

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Fans and officials of all sports in The Gambia have been putting pressure on the National Sports Council, NSC, to explain why and how is that sports events are still frozen under the now relaxed Covid-19 emergency regulations.

The sports fraternity is of the view that if the idea of social distancing and avoidance of large gatherings is what the emergency is all about, then that agenda is defeated by the huge political rallies currently going on by different parties in the country.” It is therefore unfair and nonsensical not to allow football, basketball, wrestling or other forms of sports to go ahead,” a member of the Gambia Wrestling Association complained. He said these political rallies are fertile grounds for the transmission of the virus because people mingle, dance and are always in closely knitted crowds moving from place to place across the country.

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 He said unlike these political crowds, sport events are mostly located at one place and can be held with few or even no spectators at all.

”Wrestling which is growing the become one of the most popular local sport is dying. There was at least some football at international level even though without spectators but as for wrestling it has just died over the last nine months,’ said a wrestler, who added his voice to the frustration.

 In addition to wrestling the national football league due to start this month is also in limbo.

The Standard contacted the NSC executive director, Marcel Mendy who said his office had made several enquiries at the Ministry of Heath about the possibility of resuming sports activities but they have not yet given any go ahead. ”We are made to understand that certain regulations and guidelines have to be drawn to guide the resumption of sports activities but we are yet to get the directives from the relevant authorities and without that, nothing can be done,” Mendy lamented. He said the NSC understands the frustration and impatience of the sports fraternity but the government, which is concern with the safety of all citizens, must give the go ahead first.

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