Football and cricket activities in South Africa have been suspended as the country seeks to minimise the impact of coronavirus amid mass panic across all four corners of the country.
President Cyril Ramaphosa declared coronavirus a national disaster, and the South African Football Association (Safa) and Cricket South Africa (CSA), have responded by suspending the respective codes as a precautionary measure. Any gatherings for football of 100 people or more are now banned while all forms of cricket have been suspended for a 60-day period.
This measure has a direct impact on all our football activities, particularly matches as most if not all our matches are attended by more than 100 people,” said Safa’s acting CEO Gay Mokoena.
“Some of the football authorities elsewhere in the world have taken measures such as playing matches in empty stadiums. This response has not proven to be effective in minimizing the spread of the virus,” added Mokoena. The acting chief executive at CSA, Jacques Faul said his organisation had no choice but to take the president’s pronouncement seriously.
“We at CSA take this pronouncement by the president and the cabinet very seriously. We will most certainly use our leverage to ensure that we minimise the impact of the virus in our spaces,” said Faul. “Consequently, and during this time of absolute caution and surveillance, we would like to call upon all our members and affiliates to desist from taking part in any cricket related gatherings.”
Faul added this should include, but not be limited to, any other transversal events that will see the congregation of large numbers of people up to 100. South Africa is the latest African country to announce that it was suspending sport owing to coronavirus.