Mazey clears the air

Fiji National Sports Commission chairman Peter Mazey. Picture: SUPPLIED/FT FILE

The Fiji National Sports Commission’s executive chairman Peter Mazey has labelled “spectators not complying with the basic COVID-19 measures” as the sole reason for holding future various sporting meets without any fans until further notice.

Mazey said all sporting events would be held without any supporters, which were in line with the Ministry of Health’s earliest policy in the country for prohibiting large outdoor meetings since January 11 in the fight against the third wave of the killer virus.

“The public seen at sporting events have been termed by the permanent secretary for health Dr James Fong as a super spreader,” he said.

“They weren’t conforming to the COVID-19 health and protective measures.

“It’s very easy for us to control the 100-300 competitors, officials and athletes because we know that they’ve been fully vaccinated with both shots of the COVID-19 vaccine, but you can’t do the same for 5000 people in the public stands.

“That’s the only reason that we’ve decided to hold all future sporting events behind closed doors.”

He said the step was to ensure the safety of athletes, officials and Fijians in general.

“All the sports events that were conducted from late October last year were done so under the safe return to sports protocols.

“It’s only a temporary measure at the moment and we hope to return to the ‘green’ level from the current ‘amber’, however, everybody needs to get vaccinated including the children so that we can continue to champion health, hygiene, safety and general well-being for all the relevant stakeholders including the athletes, officials, facilities management and the spectators alike as we embrace the new normal because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“The ‘ball is in everyone’s court’ who loves sports.”

Mazey added all community sporting events would be permitted in gated or fenced facilities and in indoor venues only.

“I urge all the members of the public to strictly comply with all the COVID-19 protocols, including the mandatory wearing of masks while in a public domain.”

The Fiji National Sports Commission in consultation with the Ministry of Health dropped the bombshell as the country continues to grapple with the third wave of COVID-19.

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