President of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN), Mr. Francis Orbih, has revealed plans by the federation to introduce a mobile App that will enable fans to watch matches on their phones and in the process minimise the number of people at venues in line with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 pandemic protocols.
Speaking on a live radio programme, Orbih said it is an irony that the federation, which is trying to attract spectators to all the badminton’s match venues, is now trying to discourage fans because of COVID-19.
“We are looking at different scenarios where we will be able to minimise the number of people that will come in by the time competition begins. We are developing an App, which can be downloaded by everybody on his phone.
“If, for example, we are in a hall and we are playing three matches, with that App you can select which of the matches you want to watch. What we intend to do when we eventually open for competition is use the App to limit the number of people that will come to match venue.
“We want to provide this App and still be able to make this game available for people to watch and enjoy.
“That App is a major thing that we want to achieve and we know it will go a long way to help us maintain and be compliant with all the COVID-19 protocols and requirements, especially at competitive level. And at the same time, for us to be able to expose the game to a lot of people,” he said.
He added that the federation has started training athletes at different centres across the country.
“The sports ministry has been liaising with the Presidential Task Force on COVID -19 on the modalities to restart various the sports. The first approval was the opening of the non-contact sports, which Badminton was included and immediately that happened, we swung into action.
“We’ve put together our own protocols, and sent out to all the players, and members of the Badminton family. We have two sets; one for training and the other for competition. What we are using now is the one for training because we are yet to go into competition.
“The players are training alongside their coaches. So, we are trying to reach out to them as much as possible and also to encourage them to make sure that they abide with the protocols.
“This is because the welfare and wellbeing of these players are the most important thing. It is only a player that is alive that will go back into competition. We don’t want anybody to take unnecessary risk. And we are working closely with the ministry and following all their directives. That is where we are right now,” he started.