His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali left the Everest Cricket Club moments after he arrived, disappointed with the organisers and spectators for not following national COVID-19 protocols.
The President, who had agreed to be patron of the T20 softball competition, had done so with the assurance that all systems would be in place to adhere to strict COVID-19 protocols on and off the field.
Today, he travelled to the venue to witness the final. Minutes after arriving, the President chided the organisers of the event and representatives from the club for allowing a large number of people at the venue and for not ensuring that they wear their masks and keep their distance.
He then made a passionate plea to spectators to follow the required safety guidelines.
“I am very disappointed in the way in which we are handling our responsibilities for each other. We all know how difficult it is during this pandemic. When I look around here I must say that I am disappointed with the organisers for allowing the situation where you are exposing each other to this dangerous pandemic. As your President, I love you and I care about you. I cannot be in an environment like this and see you expose yourself in this manner and allow you to do it.”
The Head of State also told the organisers that they have a responsibility to follow the rules that are in place or to face the consequences of their action.
“I am going to say to the organisers you have a responsibility and if you can’t take the responsibility seriously, then we have serious problems. We can’t build a country on irresponsibility. We have to build a country on respect, love and responsibility for each other.”
Before departing the venue, the President asked the spectators to think about their communities, their families and themselves during these times.
“Please correct the situation by wearing a mask and following the COVID-19 guidelines.”
After the President left, the organisers decided to call off the Open final and declare Speedboat and Regal All Stars as joint winners.