Sports in Covid-19 lockdown

Thursday March 19 2020

Full back Joseph Oyet and his Heathens

Full back Joseph Oyet and his Heathens teammates must keep in shape as the league takes a ‘forced’ break. PHOTO BY EDDIE CHICCO  

By ANDREW MWANGUHYA

KAMPALA- There will be no sporting events across the country for the next 32 days after President Museveni suspended several activities in a move intended to prepare and safeguard the country against a potential Coronavirus outbreak.

The virus has left the world on the edge, registering over 200,000 cases by last evening and slightly above 8,000 deaths. East African neighbours Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania have recorded cases but Uganda has fortunately not registered any yet. Government’s measures are meant to keep that record as is or counter the virus better if a case is recorded.

“Public gatherings such as sports events, concerts and discos and so on are banned for the next 32 days,” said the President in a televised address, “It is good that for some time now, we have stopped the practice of shaking hands and hugging. That is very good.”

The ban means that the Uganda Premier League, which was due to resume after Caf postponed Chan 2020, is also now off; and the latest it can resume is April 20 – assuming the situation allows at the time. This will also affect the season ending, which normally climaxes in May. The 2021 Afcon qualifying ties between Uganda and South Sudan would have also been claimed, as well as Chan finals, but Caf had already suspended these.

Uganda Swimming Federation Secondary Schools Gala, East Africa Netball Club Championships, Futsal League, Africa T20 Cricket Cup and the NSSF Hash Run, all due this month, are now off.

Events to be affected in April include the Cana Swimming Championships, National Rally Championships third round in Masaka, the East and Central Africa Motocross Championships, National Boxing Intermediate and Mr. Kampala Bodybuilding Championships among others. The President also ordered all schools, tertiary institutions and universities to close temporarily for 30 days starting tomorrow midday.

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SELECTED AFFECTED DISCIPLINES
FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH
Soccer: 2021 Afcon Qualifying ties
Swimming: USF Secondary Schools Gala
Cricket: National 40-Over Elite League
Basketball: National Basketball League
Rugby: Nile Special Stout Rugby Premiership
Netball: East Africa Netball Club Championships
Athletics: NSSF Hash Run
Boxing: National Intermidiates Championship

amwanguhya@ug.nationmedia.com

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