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Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Premier Burt Talks Sports During COVID-19 Press Conference

During the by-weekly COVID-19 Government Press Conference Premier David Burt talked about Sports.

Premier Burt said, “Last night, the Bermuda Football Association announced that the local football season will not continue. It is the Government’s understanding that this decision was made democratically with the individual clubs voting and voicing their reasons as to why.

The Government gave permission for football to commence and was hopeful that through the staged Return to Play initiative managed by the Ministry of Youth, Culture, and Sport in partnership with the Bermuda Football Association, Bermuda could enjoy a return to local sport as safely as possible.

I am very disappointed for those young people who have been training, undergoing the necessary testing, and anyone involved in preparing for the restart of the season. However, the Government respects the decision of our local football clubs and we will not question it. The permission to resume football has been given by the Government, and if there is an opportunity for the clubs to reconsider, then I hope they will do so - so that our young people can return to what they love, competitive sport.

Some have questioned why football will not return, but international events are currently moving ahead. I want to be clear on this, and reiterate again, the Government gave permission for football to re-start and agreed with the BFA a strategy for how they can do so safely. Sadly the local clubs have made the decision not to continue the season.

The Government did not make this decision for them. Last year permission was given for many sporting events, the same permissions were given to both Cricket and the World Rugby Tens last year, both of these sports made the decision to commence under the guidelines provided, while the Eastern County Cricket Association decided they did not wish to hold their competition under the rules that were provided. The government provides the guidelines and organizations, decide whether they wish to go ahead or not.

Any events which are safely able to take place will hopefully benefit our economy and our local organizations. Earlier this month, the Government presented grants to 3 historically black sailing clubs, East-End Mini Yacht Club, West End Sailboat Club, and the Mid-Atlantic Boat Club to assist them with facility upgrades so that they can be involved in SailGP’s local initiatives. We were committed to supporting these clubs and recognized that if we can find money to support SailGP, we can also find funds to help local sailing clubs.”
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