JAMAICA | Opposition Chides Gov't for Haphazard Approach to Reopening of Sporting Sector
KINGSTON, Jamaica: The Opposition People’s National Party is again registering its disappointment with the unequal and haphazard approach to the reopening of the Sporting sector.
In a statement, Opposition Shadow Minister of Youth and Sports, Senator Gabriela Morris said the Government continues to ignore the pleas of the Opposition and other stakeholders and insists on making decisions that do not serve the best interest of the industry.
From as far back as October 2021, and again in January 2022, the Opposition warned the Government against this ill-advised position which continues to prohibit vaccinated spectators from attending sporting events.
“While the announcement that 10,000 vaccinated spectators will be allowed to attend the upcoming Gibson Relays is a welcomed decision, it is a slap in the face to players, spectators and all members of the football fraternity, who were banned from attending the World Cup Qualifiers just days ago”, said Senator Morris.
“We raised concerns in January, prior to the qualifying matches, and have been calling for equitable treatment across the industry. Data coming from the USA - Jamaica match in 2021, confirms that once proper facilities and protocols are in place, spectators can safely attend sporting events. Other countries have found ways to safely stage sporting events, and the Jamaican government must dig deeper to institute appropriate measures that will ensure the survival and viability of the industry”, noted Senator Morris.
The Opposition is entreating the Government to consult empirical data when making decisions that affect the lives and livelihoods of our athletes and those who earn from the sector.
While the Opposition agrees that proper protocols are needed to respond to the existing challenges of Covid-19, the Government must be fair and balanced in its decision making and place greater emphasis on supporting all our athletes as we learn to live with Covid-19.
The Opposition is again imploring the Government to establish a committee, comprised of key stakeholders within the Sporting industry, that should be consulted on major decisions pertaining to the sector.