Zim domestic football is back but fans still barred

By Nkosana Dlamini

Zimbabwe’s domestic football and other sports codes are back but fans continue to be prohibited from watching their favourite sporting disciplines inside the venues as government maintains a tight rein on Covid-19 prevention measures.

At a post-cabinet media briefing Tuesday, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the move to allow suspended sporting activities to resume came about “following representations from the various sectors of the economy”.

Mutsvangwa said cabinet resolved “to allow the resumption of sporting activities subject to strict observance of COVID-19 prevention measures and protocol” adding that “attendant staff should also be vaccinated”.

She also said government has allowed gymnasia, health spas and fitness centres to open only to vaccinated clientele and that “all Sports Clubs must ensure that their coaches, managers and any support staff are vaccinated”.

In a statement that coincided with the government announcement Tuesday, the Sports and Recreation Commission also advised the country’s different sports associations, “delivery agencies, and all stakeholders that with effect from 1st September, 2021, ALL SPORTS CODES have been approved to resume activities”.

“All activities shall be held in a ‘No Spectator environment’ environ

“Sports venues shall be registered and maintain registers of participants and their vaccination status,” SRC said.

Sporting participants are below the age of 14 have also been allowed to resume competition but will only be temperature checked for Covid-19 symptoms as opposed to vaccination being a prerequisite.

They shall also be compelled to observe social distancing.

However, those between 14 to 18 years are “highly recommended to get vaccinated”, according to the minister with National Sports Associations and the Sport and Recreation Commission expected to take a leading role in ensuring the requirement is fulfilled.

In her address to the media, minister Mutsvangwa said government has also given the go ahead for cinemas and theatres to allow 50% sitting capacity of vaccinated clients with all workers expected to be vaccinated.

“…that national arts galleries across the country be opened to vaccinated clients only, and that all workers should be vaccinated,” said the minister.