Covid-19 a major disruption to local and international sports

  • Motorsport
  • Friday, 13 Mar 2020

Dampener: A 2019 filepic of one leg of the Malaysian Cub Prix Championships.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian sports scene is going to be awfully quiet following the Sports Commissioner’s advisory to postpone local and international sporting events over concerns and threat from the Covid-19 outbreak.

The first casualty is the Malaysian Cub Prix Championships season-opener in Tangkak, Johor, this weekend, which has been postponed.

All other sports organisations are scrambling to make decisions today on the fate of some of the ongoing and upcoming sports competitions.

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), together with the Malaysian Football League (MFL), will have an emergency meeting with several government officials and also club managements at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya today to discuss the Covid-19 issue.

FAM secretary-general Stuart Ramalingam said they will discuss further on what needs to be done and will announce decisions at a press conference.

“We have been looking into this for the last couples of weeks as the cases grew around the world. We were hoping that the numbers would go down but looks like it has increased,” said Stuart.

“All the sports bodies will look at this collectively. We have sent invitations to the MFL stakeholders, officials from the Health Ministry and Youth and Sports.

“Also, the decision on the friendly for the national team (June 13) would be announced tomorrow. Due to Covid-19, many teams are unwilling to travel. Whatever it is, we will make our decision as soon as possible.”

The Malaysia Football League, which kicked off two weeks ago, has seen 36 matches from the Super and Premier League being played.

As for the national team, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced that the World Cup 2022-Asia Cup 2023 qualifying matches will be postponed to another date.

The status of the Malaysian Open badminton tournament from March 31-April 5 is also uncertain.

Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) secretary Datuk Kenny Goh said they would be meeting relevant stakeholders to discuss the matter.

“The circular issued by the Sports Commissioner is just an advice. We will be meeting the relevant stakeholders and make a decision,” said Kenny.

The Sports Commissioner in a statement yesterday said they were following up on the guidelines set by the Health Ministry to avoid mass gatherings at the present moment.

“The organisers must work closely with the local governments to monitor the situation at each venue,” said the organisers in a statement issued yesterday.

On Wednesday, The World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom declared the disease a pandemic. A pandemic, according to the WHO, represents a sudden increase in the number of cases worldwide, affecting a large number of people.

As at 6pm yesterday, Corona Tracker has reported 126,365 Covid-19 cases around the world, 68,295 recovered patients and 4,640 deaths.
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Badminton , Cub Prix , FAM , Football , Malaysia , Covid-19


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