Lapses could endanger rights to hosting foreign teams

The Daily Star  August 12, 2020

With authorities getting green signal to resume sporting activities in a limited scale and by maintaining proper health protocols following sport’s ministry’s clearance on Monday, the challenge for Bangladesh actually begins now.

As sporting activities — mostly in terms of training — are slowly resuming for the first time since the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in March, it will be important for all sports federations and the sports ministry to keep a close eye on the proceedings.

The latest development from cricket is that the Bangladesh Cricket Board is in discussion over the national teams’ upcoming tour to Sri Lanka in late September while the New Zealand Cricket has also confirmed hosting Tigers’ soon. The BCB has also initiated a residential camp for the unde-19 team.

With the cricketers having already started individual training after BCB provided facilities across the country, the board is planning to arrange group training keeping the Sri Lanka tour in mind.

On the other hand, the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) has conducted Covid-19 tests, where 19 out of 36 players and officials were found to be positive even after some of those had initially tested negative two or three days prior to the second tests.

Much like cricket and football, the under-21 national hockey team has also started fitness training from Monday after a gap of nearly six months. Sixteen hockey players took the Covid-19 test on Saturday where two tested positive. Those two will be at the Air Force isolation centre in cantonment while the rest are scheduled to start training at BAF Bangabandhu Base in Dhaka.

With the sporting world already starting to return to the new normal, the challenge for Bangladesh will be to maintain proper health protocol and remain disciplined over handling of players’ safety and creating a safe environment.

The challenge is not only in participating in different sports events around the world, for Bangladesh the challenge will also be in hosting sporting events since quite a few major tournaments and series have already been postponed in Bangladesh in sports such as cricket, football and hockey over the past four months or so.

Unfortunately, the widely-reported cases of fake testing have already created a negative image for Bangladesh around the world. Hence it will be of paramount importance for Bangladesh to ensure the authorities maintain world standard when it comes to tackling the situation from their end.

There is no scope for the country’s sports to take this matter lightly as international eyes will be on Bangladesh. Even a careless incident can have a huge consequence for the country’s sports which will surely damage the image of Bangladesh sports worldwide.

 

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