The LAI canceled all competitions in the second half of 2019-2020 due to the coronavirus. (David Villafane / Staff)
The Interuniversity Athletic League (LAI) is preparing to begin its next sports season in late January or early February 2021 with a conventional program, as long as the pandemic caused by the coronavirus and government executive orders allows it.
The sports entity , which had to cancel the activities of the last semester for this reason, will wait until next October 16, the date on which the last executive order expires, to determine what alternatives can be handled to start the competitions . In this sense, the organization has the cooperation of Dr. Enrique Amy, while he is in communication with the Administrative Council and the Governing Board of the LAI.
“The tournament has a starting date for the end of January or the beginning of February next year. It would be a conventional tournament. Of course, we have to adjust it to the extent that the executive orders and the pandemic allow us, “said LAI commissioner Jorge Sosa Ramírez, in an interview with this medium.
“ There is an approved plan, but I must say that that is not set in stone, as there is nothing set in stone these days . You have to see what is happening day by day because we have a rebound, “added Sosa Ramírez, who insisted that saving the health of student-athletes will be paramount when making a decision.
“Given the reality of today, I would tell you that this could change,” said Sosa Ramírez.
The next Board meeting is scheduled for November 13, reported Sosa Ramírez. In this conclave, a decision must be made regarding the calendar of competitions and the way in which they will be held.
According to a LAI press release, about 7,854 student-athletes are expected to participate.
The LAI had to delay the start of the sports programming for the second semester of the 2019-2020 academic year due to the earthquakes that occurred in the southwestern part of the country at the beginning of the year. He then announced a pause in March due to the uncertainty about the spread of the COVID-19 virus and in April he made the decision to cancel the tournament after it became clear that the situation with the coronavirus was not going to decline and the implementation of the decrees promulgated by Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced.
Sosa Ramírez said that the plan was approved last August, but is subject to changes and adjustments in executive orders and circular letters from the Sports and Recreation Department (DRD). He added that they have begun to contemplate the possibility that in January there is still the risk of contagion by coronavirus.
“We are contemplating that the virus still persists. We have not made a change in the calendar to submit it to the Governing Board, but in our last meeting we are contemplating that yes, we are probably going to have to deal with the virus and make adjustments, “he said.
Regarding the possibility of playing behind closed doors, he indicated that it is something that has to be evaluated to see how viable it is. In fact, Sosa Ramírez had proposed that the possibility of holding a bubble-type event in November be considered, but that was ruled out by the Council since a period of about 90 days was needed for the training of the athletes before any competition.