The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) has confirmed the closure of the sports facilities and a sports ban it imposed earlier are still in force.
In yesterday’s press release, the governing body for all sports activities in the Kingdom, said while Cambodia has reported zero cases of coronavirus infection in the last three weeks, it remains vulnerable to a second wave of outbreak.
Cambodia’s tally of 122 cases has remained unchanged for nearly a month with no new cases.
The press release said MOEYS will not yet allow athletic training and sports competitions. Gyms and other sports facilities/venues are also not allowed to re-open at the moment.
It also recommended all stakeholders should maintain social distancing, proper hygiene, wear masks and check their temperature regularly to maintain good health.
“Everyone should wait for the official announcement from the Royal Government,” the press release stated, referring to the time when activities will be safe to resume.
The MOEYS reiteration of the ban comes at a time of increasing clamor from various stakeholders that sports activities be allowed to resume.
Gyms, sports clubs, stadiums and other venues have been struggling financially since the ban was imposed. The MOEYS first imposed the ban in early April to stem the spread of the deadly virus.
The Phnom Penh Climb Gym, for instance, resorted to online fundraising to keep the business alive and for it to be able to continue paying the salaries of its employees.
Individual players have not been spared either. The Bokator school and masters have been badly affected financially, leading to the director of the documentary Surviving Bokator to head a fundraising effort via online to show the film in the United States.
Mixed martial arts legend Nou Srey Pov, told the local media she lost a lot of money from cancelled fights abroad. “If this continues for a long time, my family and I will be left with little money,” she stressed.
In football, fans, players and officials have also been clamoring for the return of league competitions, particularly of the top-flight Metfone Cambodian League (MCL)
An official from one of the teams playing in the MCL said he cannot understand why Cambodia cannot do it when other countries with more cases of coronavirus like Germany and South Korea have already allowed their football leagues to return to action.
“Player safety should be a priority. But almost all people who contracted coronavirus here have already recovered,” he noted.