Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 10 July 2020

Dubai sports clubs face fines and closure if they host football matches

Dubai Sports Council rules are aimed at training rather than playing, with 'no tournaments or events' to take place

Sports establishments in Dubai face fines and closure if they host football matches under the current safety measures. EPA
Sports establishments in Dubai face fines and closure if they host football matches under the current safety measures. EPA

Sports establishments in Dubai face fines and closure if they host football matches under the current safety measures.

The Dubai Sports Council issued guidelines last week (PDF) designed to allow a safe return to sport after lockdown.

The regulations are aimed at training rather than playing, with “no tournaments or events” to take place, including recreational matches.

Venues are restricted to a maximum of 50 per cent capacity, with a recommendation of one person per four square metres per facility.

As per lockdown rules, establishments found to promote gatherings face a fine of Dh10,000, while hosting matches carries with it a fine of Dh30,000 and potentially closure.

“Every two weeks we upgrade and create a new phase after monitoring the behaviour of people,” said Ghazi Al Madani, from Dubai Sports Council.

“It is about how responsible people are, and we are responding to that now.

“The better we behave, and the better we support this, the faster we can return to playing.”

Recommendations for football training include a maximum of 20 players with five coaches, with a maximum of four players per coach, on a full-sized pitch split into four sections.

“Equipment should be touched only by the player/coach and should be sanitised [at least once per hour, including balls, target boards, cones, tables, etc.]”, the guidelines state.

“[It is] preferable to use new set of balls after every reservation/training session. Ball collection and pickups to be performed strictly by staff.

“Changing sides after each set is not permitted.”

The contact that occurs in playing football matches is prohibited.

“It [playing matches] is dangerous because the distance of two metres between players when playing doesn’t exist,” Al Madani said.

“In training, it does exist. In football, it cannot. In tennis, for example, it can.”

The Council’s regulations for sports centres also include the “compulsory wearing of masks for all staff and trainers at all times on premises”.

It is also recommended staff use “protective goggles, or a face shield while dealing with visitors”.

Updated: June 1, 2020 04:42 PM

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