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Amateur sports now await IATF green light

By: June Navarro - Philippine Daily Inquirer | July 06,2020 - 06:42 AM

After professional sports got the green light to resume trai­ning, amateur sports are now eagerly waiting for the go signal from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to troop back to their respective playing fields.

“We shall await more information and instructions from the IATF on the joint working group among the GAB (Games and Amusements Board), DOH (Department of Health) and PSC (Philippine Sports Commission), so we can proceed more efficiently and effectively,’’ said PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez.

Several sports are anxious to swing back in action after nearly four months of forced respite due to the series of lockdowns enforced by the government brought about by the global coronavirus health crisis.

Last week, professional basketball, football and boxing were allowed to open their respective training camps by the IATF.The PSC, DOH and GAB drafted the guidelines for the training of these sports under the general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ.

Read: Basketball, football teams may now resume training sessions

Other sports such as athletics, karatedo, rugby, gymnastics and volleyball likewise reques­ted to restart their respective programs, but have yet to obtain clearance from the IATF.

“Under the situation, things are not under our control. We have to depend on the IATF and government authorities,’’ said Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association president Philip Ella Juico.

“They want to be assured that the athletes and all others involved in the sport will be adequately protected,’’ Juico added.

Fernandez said he would take up the issue of allowing the national athletes to get back to training with the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), notably those who are preparing to qualify for the Olympics.

“We plan to meet with the POC and [chef de mission] Nonong Araneta to discuss the resumption of training, especially the Olympic hopefuls,’’ Fernandez said.

POC president Abraham Tolentino has expressed concern that further delays in the training and preparation of these athletes would make it more challenging for them to catch up with their rivals from other countries. INQ

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