Covid reopening plan ‘bewildering’ and needs review for sport, says JFA boss

A REVIEW of the government’s reconnection plans for sport is needed, the chief executive of the Jersey Football Association has said, as he criticised the decision to reopen restaurants before allowing adult outdoor sport.

Dave Kennedy, JFA chief executive. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (30244854)
Dave Kennedy, JFA chief executive. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (30244854)

David Kennedy said it was ‘bewildering’ that people would be able to eat in a restaurant from Monday onwards, yet organised adult sport could not resume until March.

Last week, ministers announced that outdoor team sport for under-18s could restart from today but outdoor adult sport would remain off-limits for a further 19 days.

However, people from separate households will be able to eat in restaurants and cafés – socially distanced and in a maximum group of ten.

‘If there is going to be an outbreak of Covid it’s more than probable that’s where it’ll come from and in the event that that does happen, football will again have to absorb even further disruption,’ Mr Kennedy said.

He added that the sporting stagger was ‘grossly unfair’ and has called for a review of the government’s return-to-sport framework.

He said: ‘I’ve been involved in sports management for a while now and this is the most disillusioned I’ve ever felt with the government.

Mr Kennedy added that he believed the government had not realised the importance of sport to the mental health of Islanders.

‘Throughout the briefing on Friday each of the ministers emphasised the importance of mental health, but at the same time disregarded sport by not allowing it to happen for adults. If we’re going to have a phased approach surely we should start with activities that pose little risk – activities that have the best impact on physical and mental wellbeing.

‘The government are telling us the decisions are made on balance of risk, but how is drinking alcohol in a bar lower risk than outdoor sport?'

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