The coronavirus pandemic has, for several months now, been affecting most areas. Sport being one of the hardest hit, the president of NOC Mali (CNOSM) and also President of the African Judo Union, Habi Sissoko, expresses his views on the impact of this pandemic and awareness measures taken by CNOSM (culled from an interview granted to Essor)
World sport is at a standstill since March as a result of the coronavirus. As a former athlete and NOC President, what is your take on this situation?
Habib Sissoko: First and foremost, sport has not stopped, only sporting activities have been suspended for the time being. It is true that Olympic Games have been postponed to 2021, but other sporting activities organised by International Federations may resume in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. This situation depends on no one, an unfortunate one for all of us. Many athletes had qualified for the Olympic Games and others had good chances to qualify. Suddenly, everything came to a halt. The situation has turned everything upside down, a hard one for athletes who made every effort to get to that level.
What is CNOSM doing to raise awareness and fight against this pandemic? In concrete terms, what actions has the National Olympic Movement initiated?
Habib Sissoko: Since the Defence Council headed by the President of the Republic, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, announced containment measures against Covid-19, the NOC drew the attention of all the National Sports Associations, requesting them to suspend all activities till further notice. In collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Committee engaged in a huge awareness campaign marked by the distribution of health kits. We met with the federations and they all undertook to suspend their activities and to assist the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the National Olympic and Sports Committee in combating the coronavirus. We will stay mobilised in fighting this scourge and we applaud the efforts of the authorities since the outbreak of Covid-19 in our country.