Minister of Sports Kevin Bernard has vehemently denied having any involvement in a group of 25 persons playing football in the Banana Bank area, Cayo District. Authorities had approached the men for playing the contact sport which goes against the Covid-19 regulations. In response, one of the persons in the group told Police that they had gotten authorization from Minister Bernard. In speaking with the media yesterday, the Minister says that was certainly not the case.
Kevin Bernard, Minister of Youth, Sports & E-Governance: “We were informed that a team of footballers were practicing basically but why we sent out the statement is because in the communication that we got through the police was that the individual whose name was mentioned stated that the Ministry of Sports sanctioned this event and I wanted to make sure that people are clear on the point that not under this ministry, not under this minister we’re going to break any rules. We know that there are regulations out right now, sports in this country is limited, contact sports is still not being allowed to be played and I am aware that people want to get on track, want to do certain activities leading up to certain future events but we must adhere to the rules and regulations and more so not using the name of the ministry when there was no such approval. And so I took offence to that because as the Minister of Sport I support fully the decisions by the Ministry of Health because we have seen where in our country people have been dying. This pandemic is real so we must be responsible and it was merely based on that that we took that out, at the same time for them to understand that under the National Sports Council and under the Ministry of Sports we’re not going to allow these activities to happen once the regulation does not allow it to happen.”
The group was reportedly from Belize’s National Selection team headed by Dale Pelayo.