Home Sport NC Sports bodies keen on welcoming more fans to games

NC Sports bodies keen on welcoming more fans to games

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General view of the Diamond Oval in Kimberley. Picture: Frikkie Kapp, BackpagePix

Sports federations across the province expressed their excitement at the prospect of welcoming back more fans to sporting events after the easing of Covid-19 regulations.

MAJOR sports federations across the province have reacted to the Government’s proposed relaxation of the Alert Level 1 Covid-19 regulations which had severely restricted the attendance of spectators at live sports events.

On Tuesday this week, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the regulations governing outdoor and indoor events have been changed to allow for 50 percent capacity attendances, provided that such attendees have proof that they are vaccinated or a Covid test not older than 72 hours.

The amended Alert Level 1 regulations came into effect on Wednesday, March 23.

This is a major change from the previous level one lockdown regulations which allowed for 2,000 spectators at sports events. Some federations jumped at that opportunity to get fans back, while Safa did not allow such attendances, especially in the lower divisions of the sport.

Safa’s Northern Cape secretary Willem Coetzee said they have taken note of the changes suggested but added that Safa in the province had, however, not yet been notified about the intended changes by the national football controlling body.

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“That matter is currently the subject of discussion between our head office and the national department of health officials,” Coetzee told the DFA.

“We will react to whatever those parties agree on,” he added, also indicating that should the new regulations be endorsed by Safa it would definitely be good for sport in general.

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The Griqualand West Rugby Union welcomed the relaxation of the Covid-19 regulations with Tafel Lager Griquas CEO Arni van Rooyen reflecting on the past two years under the pandemic.

“It was difficult for all of us. It was especially difficult for the people who made a living from sales at the stadium. They suffered great losses in income,” Van Rooyen said.

“This too affected us but the attendance rule relaxation allowing for 2,000 people afforded us a bit of relief. With the amended rule allowing for 50 percent capacity of stadiums, things will definitely be better for us,” he added.

Meanwhile, on the cricketing front, Northern Cape Cricket CEO Eugene Jacobs said the union was excited about welcoming back more fans.

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“We are very happy about the new regulations that have been announced. It would definitely be better to see people return to stadiums even on a limited basis,” he said.

Jacobs referred the DFA to Cricket South Africa’s statement on the matter and said Northern Cape Cricket, in main, took their cue from it.

The CSA statement reads in part: “Cricket South Africa (CSA) welcomes the announcement made by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday that Cabinet has decided to ease several restrictions as part of Adjusted Alert Level 1.”

CSA board chairperson Lawson Naidoo was enthusiastic about the return of more supporters to games.

“This is music to our ears! We are grateful to the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa for taking up our call, which we had advanced on behalf of our varied stakeholders, for the capacity at stadiums to be increased,” Naidoo said.

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