KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 — The Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS) will make a special application to the National Security Council (NSC) and Health Ministry (KKM) for the national badminton squad to begin training under the Road to Tokyo (RTT) programme by June 1.
Its minister, Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, said the application would be submitted before Aidilfitri but approval for the athletes to begin training was at the discretion of the NSC and KKM.
For the purpose of making the special application, Reezal today visited the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) to check on the preparedness of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) to curb the spread of COVID-19 if the green light for early training was given.
“The proactive measures taken by BAM are good because we want a standard operating procedure (SOP) that can be adhered to.
“Based on the briefing given by BAM just now, players will be screened before entering ABM, the facilities will be sanitised and contact between outsiders and those in ABM will be minimised.
“The same goes for support services like the National Sports Institute (NSI), sports and health officers, and logistics and food delivery (personnel). They will be subject to strict protocol and SOP,” he told reporters at ABM today.
Reezal said only 16 players and six coaches would be involved in the training programme, apart from some 50 support services staff.
Earlier, Reezal had asked national sports associations who needed special training facilities under the RTT to submit their applications via KBS after Aidilfitri for consideration by a special ministers’ meeting.
“We are under the Conditional Movement Control Order (EMCO) which does not give relaxation to certain sports to begin training.
“However, KBS, the National Sports Council and NSI have discussed with the Olympic Council of Malaysia and relevant sports associations to submit separate applications for special relaxation and approval to begin training for RTT,” he added. — Bernama