KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 (Bernama) -- The National Sports Council (NSC) has barred all athletes from competing or training in five countries - China, South Korea, Iran, Japan and Italy - for the whole of this month following the COVID-19 outbreak.
NSC director general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail said all sports associations had agreed to abide by the decision, which was made after a discussion with the Health Ministry today.
He also told all associations and athletes to put off any participation in non-targeted tournaments, non-Tokyo Olympic qualifiers and meets meant for exposure in these five countries as NSC would not provide any funding.
“(However) for Tokyo Olympic qualifiers, associations must discuss with their teams, athletes or coaches to see if they are prepared to compete.
“We do not want athletes to compete half-heartedly and in fear and trepidation because of the COVID-19 problem,” he said after the ministry’s COVID-19 briefing session which was attended by 23 sports associations at NSC today.
He said that if any association still wanted to compete or train overseas this month, they could do so without any funding from the NSC.
Commenting on the possibility that this year’s Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan may be postponed, Ahmad Shapawi said: “We are ready (for the postponement) although no decision has been made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).”
TAG : Covid-19, Olympic Games, barred, overseas, NSC, Ahmad Shapawi Ismail