PNG shuts down sports stadiums

The annual Prime Minister's rugby league clash between Australia and Papua New Guinea will be held at Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby, which also hosted the Pacific Games. Photo: Facebook / Hon Justin W Tkatchenko MP

The PNG Sports Foundation announced the closures today after consultations with national sporting federations and the Department of Health.

The foundation’s chief executive, Peter Tsiamalili Jr, said he knew how passionate Papua New Guineans were about sport and that the decision was not taken lightly.

But the risk of the coronavirus spreading through large congregations of people at sporting events was just too high, Mr Tsiamalili said.

“The nation is preparing to prevent and control this globally infectious virus, it is now everyone’s responsibility to maintain our individual health and hygiene as part of preventive measures against this global threat,” he said.

The decision was in line with Prime Minister James Marape’s call to limit mass gatherings and encourage social distancing, Mr Tsiamalili said.

No cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in PNG.

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