The South African government upheld the ban on all contact sports competitions on Saturday due to the coronavirus. Meaning the country’s professional rugby squads and their world champion Springboks will remain out of action.
Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa’s announcement came as South Africa prepares to further ease the shutdown on Monday and open most of its economy as part of a gradual relaxation of restrictions. Rugby fans can book Springboks Vs British And Irish Lions Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.
Professional contactless sports competitions will be allowed in some regions and Mthethwa gave teams, including rugby, permission to resume training. But only if there are protocols to minimize the possibilities of transmission of COVID-19.
All squads have 14 days to submit detailed plans on their protocols for approval before they can train, the minister said. The conditions include the mandatory examination of athletes.
South African Rugby CEO Jurie Roux welcomed the move as “an opportunity for our players to improve their blocking training regimes by increasing their physical work for an eventual return to play.”
He included that he would look for an explanation on whether full contact preparation would be permitted. SA Rugby had hoped to return to play and hold a national event to win money, matching the planned competitions in New Zealand and Australia.
The South African Super Rugby squads have been out of action since the southern hemisphere club competition was postponed in mid-March. The Springboks’ July sports against Scotland and Georgia, the first time the national squad was scheduled to play since winning the World Cup last year, were postponed when World Rugby announced that its entire mid-year test window would be rescheduled.
Cash strapped SA Rugby has announced salary cuts of between 25% and 43%, plus for its players, this month in a struggle to save up to $ 70 million. Hoping that South African Rugby has approached the government with plans to return to play, and Roux said earlier this month the risk of transmission could be well managed by our protocols.
“We do not operate hospitals or build ventilators and we are not a critical industry for the South African economy, but we believe that we add great value to national life in other ways,” said Roux.
Mthethwa will allow professional contactless sports like golf, tennis, cricket, athletics, and swimming to take place starting Monday, without spectators and under strict conditions.
However, sports events cannot be held at designated “hotspots” due to their high rates of COVID-19 infection. They contain almost all the major sports cities Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, and Port Elizabeth.
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