The new normal-Sports Ministry issues SOP for conduct of sporting events in country

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With an eye on the return of fans to the sporting arena, the Sports Ministry Of India has come forward with a Standard operating procedure to resume sports in the country.

The key highlight of the SOP is allowing 50% attendance with covid protocols like compulsory face masks and sanitizers a must.

This is a welcome move by the Sports ministry with almost a year-long hiatus causing agony to fans, players as well as drying of revenue sources.

Sports ministry

Key highlights of the Sports ministry SOP-

The circular issued by the Sports Ministry on Saturday stated that the guidelines were formulated in consultation with all the stakeholders and the “competitions should be conducted strictly in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)”.

A COVID Task Force shall be constituted for each sporting competition by the organizing committee to guide and monitor all Athletes and Athlete Support Personnel (ASPs). This Task Force shall be responsible for the overall implementation of protocols outlined in this SOP and other directions issued by the MHA and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare from time to time, the circular stated.

The Task Force will also be responsible for closely regulating and monitoring travel of athletes and ASPs. “The spectators at the sporting event would be in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. For outdoor events, spectators will be allowed up to 50% of the total capacity of the stadium,” it read.

CCTV monitoring may be planned for larger events to detect overcrowding at entry and exit gates and seating areas.” It said that sports events may resume but the final call rests with the respective local authorities where the venue falls.

“The sports competitions may resume, provided no orders of the local authorities prohibit such facilities to resume operation i.e. micro-containment zones and are meant to serve as safety guidelines for organizing the sports competition in consonance with any other guidelines issued by the State Government while granting such permission,” according to the guidelines.

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Teleconferencing and Work from home to be encouraged-

The SOP also made it clear that as long as the physical presence of an official is not absolutely necessary, work from home should be encouraged.

The SOP also prohibits all ASPs who are at higher risk from mingling directly with athletes, coaches, and other employees.

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