Nigerians have expressed mixed reactions on the lifting of ban on sports on Thursday by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
While some believe that the return of sports is long overdue, others are of the opinion that the government has not put structures in place to curtail the spread of the dreaded coronavirus.
A member of the Enyimba International of Aba supporters club, Reuben Abosi Chukwu, while welcoming the lifting the ban on sports stated that it was not enough and called on the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation to work towards sponsorship to help revive the game.
“Our football is grounded without sponsorship as it is affecting clubs and players alike. Our players in the domestic league hardly spend up to two seasons with a club and the next thing on their minds to travel out of the country for a professional career because the national team handlers are not looking their way. We need to give players something to look forward to,” he said.
Former national volleyball team player, Ada Mike, in her reaction noted that government is paying lip service to the issue of coronavirus, insisting that it has put nothing in terms of structures before lifting the ban.
“It’s not enough for government to lift the ban on sports, but what measures have they put in place before the reopening. Throughout the lockdown athletes have been inactive, there should be a procedure for their return with health checks and hospitals and medical staff on ground. With all the monies contributed to government, there are still no hospitals in place. Should there be emergencies on the return, there’s nothing to fall back on or why are our leaders travelling abroad for medicals?”
Chairman, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Lagos Chapter, Debo Oshundun, described the lifting of ban on sports as long overdue. “The ban should have been done long before now, but that it has been done is good. However, the restriction on fans is not appropriate, especially when you consider that markets, schools and transporters no longer observe social distancing; it makes sports targeted.