| 3.8°C Dublin

Ball is Life Government lifts 'unfair' youth basketball Covid restrictions on U-18 players

Last week, Sport Ireland ruled that basketball games could only take place if all players, coaches, and officials held valid Covid-19 vaccination certificates.

Close

Ireland U-17 and U18 trials for five Kerry basketballers

Ireland U-17 and U18 trials for five Kerry basketballers

Ireland U-17 and U18 trials for five Kerry basketballers

Restrictions around youth basketball matches have been lifted after it was announced that Under-18s games could only go ahead for vaccinated players.

Last week, Sport Ireland ruled that basketball games could only take place if all players, coaches, and officials held valid Covid-19 vaccination certificates, or held proof that they had made full recovery from the illness.

This did not apply to National League or international games, but greatly affected children playing in Under-12s fixtures.

Since August, vaccines have been administered to children over the age of 12. However, children under 12 are currently ineligible to receive the jab.

Many coaches and players were unhappy with Sport Ireland’s decision to prevent youth basketball from playing, and today Minister for Sport Jack Chambers announced that the Government were taking steps to reverse the rulings.

In a tweet, Mr Chambers explained that the Government “has agreed to address the issue” of Under-18s sports and has “amended” Sport Ireland’s decision.

Sport Ireland have yet to comment on this development.

Speaking on the confusion surrounding restrictions for Under-18 players, Dundalk Ravens coach Fu Faapito said that Sport Ireland’s initial ruling was “unfair.”

“We have all ages but for the Under-12s it’s so unfair,” he told sundayworld.com.

“They’ve been working hard since May 1st and they’ve been waiting for so long to play to then be told that if the kids aren’t vaccinated, they can’t play. To me, it’s discriminating. I feel sorry for them.

“I think everybody in Ireland feels the same, all the coaches and clubs. It’s unfair.

“There are so many clubs in Ireland that are affected by this. So many clubs, parents, coaches. For them to ask officials, coaches, and players to be vaccinated... it shouldn’t even be done in the first place.

“A lot of the Under-14 kids are not vaccinated, same with Under-16s and Under-18s. We were due to play the Under-18s National Cup this weekend and it’s been postponed due to the fact that clubs would have been going into the tournament with half a team.”

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Fu, whose four children also play basketball, said that Sport Ireland didn’t consider the repercussions their decision had for players.

“All my kids play. I have one that’s Under-10s, one that’s Under-14s, one that’s Under-16s, and my oldest son plays National League in Dublin. So, he’s not really affected by this but the other three are.

“My Under-14 and Under-16 are vaccinated but a lot of the teammates aren’t.

"For Under-14s, you have to have 10 players to play the game for it to count. But if half of those kids can’t play, we have to forfeit.

“Let the kids play. That’s all we want. These kids have endured enough. We just want to play basketball,” he added.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Top Videos





Privacy