scheduleमगलवार चैत्र २५ गते, २०७६

COVID-19 takes toll on sports competitions

Muna Karki/Kathmandu, March 11 . Coronavirus that is taking its toll across the globe has had a significant impact on sports.
National and international matches have been cancelled or postponed as a result. A joint meeting of FIFA (International Federation of Association Football), the international governing body of football, and the Asian Football Confederation recently has postponed FIFA World Cup qualifiers, 2022 and AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, 2023.
Health of all athletes and people associated with FIFA has been first prioritised, the meeting concluded. Following FIFA’s decision in this regard, a meeting organised some days ago under the chairpersonship of Minister for Sports of Nepal, Jagat Bahadur Bishwokarma decided to defer all activities and events related to sports in view of the virus.
Following that, the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA), the governing body of football in Nepal, postponed training session for the national football team and the Deputy Mayor Cup women league football.
It also deferred a training session for the Nepali national football team to prepare for matches against Chinese Taipei and Australia under the FIFA World Cup qualifiers and Asian Cup qualifiers. Under this matches, Nepal was scheduled to play games against Chinese Taipei on March 26 and Australia on March 31 in home country.
The 23-member national football team had started training at the Satdobato-based ANFA ground from March 1.
Similarly, the Women League Football slated to kick off from March 16 has also been suspended for the time-being.
However, the karate team which is in closed-training preparing for the Olympics Games is continuing its regular practice at Satdobato, karate chief instructor Dipak Shrestha informed RSS. He said although there is psychological effect of coronavirus among the athletes, their practice has been continued as there is no big crowd during the practice.
‘We have continued with the regular practice as there is no much crowding now since no karate competitions are taking place at this time,’ he said.
In volleyball, however, the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) volleyball championship that was planned to be held in Bangladesh has been put off.
Many boxing competitions have also been put off due to the fear of coronavirus.
Everest Premier League (EPL) slated to take place at TU Cricket Ground at Kirtipur from March 14 to 28 has been stopped for now due to the coronavirus risk. EPL managing director Aamir Akhtar said, ‘We have suspended EPL for now due to the COVID-19 fear. We will announce a new date for the League if the situation improved.’
Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) president Chatur Bahadur Chand said the coronavirus has not much affected the cricket sector as there are no national and international cricket tournaments scheduled for the moment. rss

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