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Lifting of BNSC affiliated sporting activities

GABORONE, Botswana – Yesterday afternoon (Tuesday), Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Hon. Tumiso Macdonald Rakgare addressed the most anticipated media briefing since local sporting activities were suspended more than a year ago due to COVID-19. In his address, Minister Rakgare told the media that a decision had been taken by Cabinet last week Wednesday for the safe return of competitive sports. A gratifying moment was when the Government Gazette Extraordinary, dated 8th June 2021, followed suit to cement Rakgare’s positive assertions.

The regulations are:

(i) be provided by the host with clean water and soap to wash their hands or with hand sanitizer throughout the duration of the activity,

(ii) wear a face mask or homemade item that covers the nose and mouth or another appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth, where the person is not a participant of the activity, and,

(iii) observe the social distancing requirements of being at least 2 metres apart from each other.

(b) a sports facility may host authorised sports daily where there shall not be more than 50 participants and 50 officials at any given time.

(c) spectators are prohibited from attending competitive sporting activities;

(d) alcohol shall not be sold or consumed at the facility during a sporting activity;

(e) water bottles and hydration containers shall not be shared by participants;

(f) daily disinfection of sporting facility and equipment shall take place where sporting activities are carried out, under the supervision of the Director of Health Services;

(g) a sports host shall facilitate a minimum of a 30-minute break every 2 hours during a sport activity which is held indoors, to allow for ventilation of the facilities;

(h) a sporting activity host shall appoint a SHE officer for every activity;

(i) an adult shall supervise all junior competitive sporting activities;

(j) a sports facility shall be closed, upon direction of the Director of Health Services, where there is a reasonable suspicion that a person who has accessed the premises has come into contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 or that a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 has had access to the premises;

MYSC PS Kago Ramokate

(k) the checking of body temperature of all persons in attendance of a sports facility is carried out by the host, and where the person’s body temperature is 37.4 degrees celsius and above, such person shall not be

allowed to access the sports facility, and the person shall be referred to the Director of Health Services;

(l) a sports host shall maintain a register containing the personal details and contact details of all persons accessing the sports facility;

(m) the register referred to in paragraph (l) shall be open for inspection by the Director of Health Services for the purposes of contact tracing, and shall be open for inspection by any law enforcement officer for the

investigation of an offence under the Regulations; and

(n) a sports host shall surrender the register to the Director of Health Services, within 30 days from the date of

such sporting activity being held.

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Development

Draw for historic 20th edition of the COSAFA Cup set for Thursday 17th June

The draw for the 2021 COSAFA Cup will be staged in host city Nelson Mandela Bay on Thursday, June 17 as preparations for the historic 20th edition of the regional showpiece competition kick into gear. The 12-team tournament will take place from July 7-18 and returns after the 2020 edition had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The draw will be live on www.cosafa.tv from 11h00, when the fate of the competing teams will be decided.

And there will be plenty of excitement with the addition of west African powerhouse Senegal to the field this year as they make a guest appearance in what is a landmark tournament for COSAFA. The COSAFA Cup has, over the years, launched the careers of a number of top stars from the region and continues to be a major driver of football development on and off the pitch for not just players, but also coaches, match officials and administrators.

The competition will take on a new format for 2021 with the 12 teams split into three groups each containing four teams. This ensures each side will play a minimum of three matches. The top team in each pool, as well as the best second-placed finisher, will advance to the semifinals. There will be no Plate competition.

Zebras will know their opponents on Thursday ahead of the virtual draw

Senegal is the top-ranked side in Africa and sit at number 22 in the world and will make their debut in COSAFA competition. Guest nations from outside the region have, over the years, provided excellent entertainment and a contrast in styles that makes for fascinating viewing. The other 10 sides confirmed so far are no strangers to the COSAFA Cup and include hosts South Africa, defending champions Zambia and record six-time winners Zimbabwe.

Others to have booked their place are Botswana, Comoros Islands, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia. The 12th team will be confirmed in the coming days with a number of interested parties. Those who are competing in the group stages of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers that start in September will be eager to use the tournament to fine-tune their preparations for a shot at making the finals in Qatar.

The 19 previous editions of the competition have seen some great performances and incredible games that have been written into the folklore of Southern African football, but only five nations can claim to have lifted the coveted trophy. Zimbabwe (six wins) lead the way, followed by Zambia (five), South Africa (four), Angola (three) and Namibia (one).

Mozambique, Malawi and Botswana have all twice been finalists, but ended up on the losing side on both occasions. Lesotho (2000) are the only other team to reach the decider.   

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