Minister clarifies SOPs for team sports training


YOUTH and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican (picture) has explained that team sports like football, basketball, sepak takraw and hockey are only allowed to carry out non-contact skills-based training sessions without involving matches during the Movement Control Order (MCO) 2.0 period.

Following confusion over the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for these sports, he said training activities like passing and skills (juggling and dribbling) are allowed as long as physical distancing is adhered to, no contact is involved and the usage capacity of the field or court is at 30% the actual capacity.

“Sports like hockey and football are not allowed to hold matches, only training sessions. Doubles events are also not allowed for badminton, tennis and table-tennis because it will be difficult to comply with (physical) distancing and there is possibility of contact as well as splashes of droplets, thus raising the risk of infection.

“We want to help commercial field/court operators to resume operation, at least they (athletes) can train and those who have clubs can start face-to-face fitness activities rather than (having) online classes all the time,” he told reporters at the Sports Arena in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Reezal Merican, who had earlier monitored activities at the Glenmarie Golf Club; the UiTM Stadium in Shah Alam, which is the training venue for Super League side UiTM FC; and Sports Arena Sentosa admitted to being satisfied with the compliance of these premises with regard to the rules and SOPs.

Meanwhile, Sports Arena CEO Datuk Jack Koh thanked the government for allowing them to operate and said most sports facility operators are nearly “drowning” or “dying” after being closed since Jan 13.

“All our employees are tested every month and the results are displayed. We sanitise the arena after every session and have invested in a disinfectant gantry to prevent Covid-19 spread. We have also divided our courts into five zones, whereby teams can play only in one zone,” he said.