Here we go again

It’s a serious matter: Ahmad Shapawi said it is imperative that there are no movements in sport during the MCO period.

PETALING JAYA: It has been barely a week since the national athletes reported for duty at Bukit Jalil – but it looks like they may have to go back home.

With the announcement by the government to implement the movement control order (MCO) again from Jan 13-26 in six states namely Federal Territories (Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya) Selangor, Melaka, Johor and Sabah, sports is expected to be on standstill again.

National Sports Council (NSC) director general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail gave an indication that the national athletes may have to break camp again after checking in for training on Jan 4. The athletes have been training under a strict quarantine-based approach.

“We’re trying to sort things out and will make an announcement in due course. But MCO means that there shouldn’t be any movement at all, ” Shapawi said.

Earlier, the return of the athletes had caused chaos in Bukit Jalil

A total of seven athletes and one official tested positive for Covid-19 upon returning from their New Year break on Jan 4

Out of 632 athletes and officials tested, two athletes from track and field, two wheelchair basketball players, two wheelchair tennis players, one para tenpin bowler and one boccia official were found to be infected.

In a second test, five more officials out of 75 have been tested positive for Covid-19 and it has triggered a move to sanitise the working area in Bukit Jalil.

Another lengthy spell away from training does not augur well as all the top athletes are preparing for major events such as the Tokyo Olympics in July and the Hanoi SEA Games in December.

Besides training, some of the upcoming tournaments are also expected to fall victim to the Covid-19.

The Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) that is supposed to start on Jan 14 at the National Hockey Stadium will be postponed and there will be no contact sports, which means that all football activities in the respective states will be stopped.

Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) honorary secretary Datuk Zulkifli Ismail, when contacted, confirmed that all the golf courses in MCO areas will be closed for operation while it’s also no go for bowling as all centres will be closed.

When the first full MCO was carried out on March 18 last year, it took nearly two months before sports are allowed to resume.

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