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New Zealand could restart professional sport within days to come

New Zealand could restart professional sport within days to come

New Zealand could approve the restart of professional sport as early as next week when authorities decide whether to ease coronavirus restrictions further, the sport ministry said on Thursday. Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson said professional sports would be able to resume domestically when the country lowers its Covid-19 alert level down a notch.

New Zealand is to decide on Monday whether the country will move from 'Level 3' to 'Level 2'."Moving to Alert Level 2 continues to expand the opportunities for sport and recreation and reintroduces the opportunity for competitive sport both at a local and professional level," Robertson said in a statement.

"Obviously, the paramount concern is that a return to competitive sport is done safely." The announcement will give New Zealand hope of becoming the world's first major rugby nation to resume playing the sport at an elite level.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) said it was "thrilled", and had plans for 10 rounds of domestic games for the country's five Super Rugby teams, who have been idle since the season was suspended in March.

"The five teams will play each other home and away over 10 weeks, with two matches every weekend. All matches will be played in closed stadiums," NZR Chief Executive Mark Robinson said in a statement.

"Kiwi rugby fans love the local ... Super Rugby derbies, and they will now have 10 consecutive rounds to enjoy."

The domestic matches have the backing of Super Rugby governing body SANZAAR, which includes partner unions from Australia, South Africa and Argentina.

Source: India Today

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