Resumption of team sports including volleyball, basketball in IATF's hands -- PSC chairman Ramirez
Mark Escarlote on Jun 02, 2020 03:30 PM
Philippine Sports Commission chairman William 'Butch' Ramirez says that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has the last say on resumption of team sports events including basketball and volleyball.
The resumption of training and competition of team sports including basketball and volleyball under the general community quarantine will depend on the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
“Ang aking posisyon dyan, ang masusunod d’yan ‘yung IATF,” said Philippine Sports Commission chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez on Tuesday during the online Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.
National sports association leaders from athletics, basketball, volleyball, football, rugby, gymnastics and karate in an online meeting on Friday crafted the guidelines of their proposed one-month trial program for athletes to resume training as well as health and safety protocols.
The PSC and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) have yet to receive a copy of the group’s proposal. Ramirez said that once he receives the proposal he will immediately bring the matter for discussion with the IATF.
“The Philippine Sports Commission, we work with our doctors, the MSAS (medical scientific athlete services), through the DoH (Department of Health) and we recommend to the IATF,” said Ramirez. “So if the IATF allows them ‘di walang problema kasi they’re the one calling the shots. We are just recommendatory.”
Since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hit the country, all sports were halted including major sports leagues like the NCAA, UAAP, PBA, Philippine Superliga, Premier Volleyball League and the Philippine Football League.
The group wants the said sports to be allowed to train for a month under specific safety and monitoring protocols. If everything goes well after the trial lapses, they will request for an extension for another month or until regular practices and competitions can resume by around September.
“Kung kami lang masusunod we are very positive on the feedbacks of the individual team sports, even the professional (leagues), kasi by law kami po ang tinatanong ng IATF at saka ng DoH. Nagbibigay po ang aming mga doctors, nagbibigay po ang aming mga coaches ng mga pamamaraan,” said Ramirez.
“May mga event na nag-start sila tulad ng running, biking, ‘yung golf pero may mga requirements,” he added. “For example, ang golf. Walang caddie, walang umbrella girls. Maraming mga requirements because we just don’t want to be blamed on the contagion so ingat na ingat kami.”
POC president Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino echoed Ramirez’s statement.
“I might recommend, but it's up to the IATF kung papayagan nila,” he said.
But the POC head also added that he’s a bit hesistant on allowing team sports athletes to resume training or to even open their respective leagues.
“Pero ako personally ha, parang mahirap pa eh. ‘Yung group, ‘yung team competition mahirap pa eh,” said Tolentino, also the cycling president. “Dahil di naman ganoon kadami pa ang (COVID-19) testing natin. Nandyan pa lahat eh, di pa nakikita ang mga asymptomatic. Mahirap na magsisi.”
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