Fear of spread of HIV infection football fans sparks demand for registration of South Africa prostitutes.
Calls are growing for South Africa to legalise prostitution ahead of next year’s football World cup in an effort to limit HIV infection among millions of fans visiting the country for the tournament.
A leading health specialists to the Tidesports source that the World Cup presented a huge risk and said there was an urgent need to start registering prostitutes and screening them for the virus. It is estimated that 50% of the country’s sex workers are infected.
Professor Ian Sanne, head of the clinical HIV research unit at Johannesburg’s Witwatersrand University, said the party atmosphere being touted by the football authorities, travel companies and the South African government was a green light to school abuse and promiscuity among fans next summer.
Around 3.2 million tickets will be sold for the matches. A million will go to South African residents, with the rest split between international fans and sponsor. Twenty thousand England fans are expected to head for South Africa, where those without tickets will be catered for with huge screens and temporary bars across the country.
Sanne said not only would the visitors be at risk, but young South Africans and sex workers too, opening the way for the virus to spread at a dramatically increased rate.
“HIV/Aids is a problem globally and there is a great need to encourage and enforce better health and responsibility, especially to the young South Africans who could be at risk during the World Cup,” he said.
He called for legal frameworks to regulate the practice of sex workers rather than discriminate against them.
Interim legalisation of prostitution would be best for the country, rather than leaving it uncontrolled, said. “Sex workers need to register with a board that will regulate their practice and give certification to practice, but they have to go through a mandatory HIV tresting process first, and only those who test negative will be allowed to practice.”
South Africa is the centre of the global HIV epidemic, with more than five million adults infected. An estimated one in two of working prostitutes is living with the virus an dthe lack of medication led to a quarter of a million people dying of Aids-related illnesses there last year. The antiretroviral medication that helps prevent HIV devleopming into ful-blown Aids is being taken by fewer than 30% of those infected.
Infection rates among women aged 15 to 24 declined slightly from 22.1% in 2007 to 21.7% 2008, but among women in the 30 to 34 age group, the infection rate was 40,4 in 2008.
But while Sanne said authorities should use the World Cup as a platform to raise awareness on the need for testing, Aids/HIV campaigners responded furiously that it would take concern for foreigners rather than its own citizen to make the South African government act.
“The clear way forward to help tackle the tens of thousands of women forced into prostitution through poverty is to legalise it now, not to make it a temporary measure for the World Cup,” said Vuyiseka Dubula of the Treatment Action Campaign.
We need preostiution decriminalised now so we can start to help these women, many of whom have been abused and brutalised from a young age.
Former South African police commissioner Jackie Selebi, now suspended over corruption allegations, caused widespread dismay when he first susggested legalising prostitution and public drinking for the duration of the World Cup, arguing that it would free his officers to deal with security, but the issue is hugely contentious in a country where the sex trade is regarded as immoral and un-acceptable.
A spokesman for the FA said: They (English fans) will all be issued with guidance along with their tickets and we are working now on how best to communicate the dos and don’ts in South Africa to people. But the FA can’t be responsible for all the English people travelling to South Africa next summer.
NDDC U-17 Peace Cup To Resume In Uyo
The long awaited finale of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) U-17 Peace Cup would expectedly resume next week as two qualified teams from the nine states converge in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom capital.
Technical Director of the tournament Etim Esin in a statement on behalf of the Local Organising Committee Chairman John Ekpeyong and Secretary Ada Gwegwe yesterday said the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Senator Godswill Akpabio, CON, will declare the tournament open.
It added that the Special Assistant to the President Muhammad Buhari, on Sports Development, Coach Daniel Amokachi, NFF Technical Director Coach Augustine Eguavoen along with football legend Taribo West and other notable Niger Delta-based and foreign scouts will be on ground.
The LOC appreciated the Sole Administrator of the NDDC, Effiong Akwa, for his support towards the conclusion of the tournament, adding that it is better late than never, as the competition will still be among his numerous legacies.
According to the statement, the arrival date for participating teams is 11th of December, while screening of teams and official kick off, will take place the following day.
The statement further called on the Coordinators of the states not to forget the rules of engagement, especially on the age bracket of the players, as the screening will be strict, for the aim of the competition to be achieved.
FIBA World Cup: Kida Lauds D’Tigers’ Strong Qualifiers Start
Top basketball administrator and immediate past Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) president, Engr Musa Kida, has congratulated the D’Tigers for starting their 2022 FIBA World Cup on a strong note after picking two victories in three matches.
With five points from a possible six and a superior point difference, the team sits comfortably atop group A ahead of the next round of games coming up by the 27th of June, 2022.
Kida described the team’s performance as inspiring despite peculiar circumstances surrounding the federation’s election as well as FIBA’s stance over Nigeria’s participation at the qualifiers.
“It is really nice to start such important qualifiers on a winning note which is very good for our chances of qualifying for the World Cup. We had to put our administrative differences aside for the sake of Nigeria and Nigerians.”
“We feel elated and justified that our decision to give FIBA the go ahead to register the team which enabled them participate paid off in the long run as we join hands with all stakeholders to continue growing the game in Nigeria”.
16 teams are vying for the available five spots at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup with Nigeria grouped alongside Mali, Cape Verde and Uganda.
“The top three teams from each group will advance to the Second Round of the African Qualifiers and will join three other teams to create two six-team groups with results from the preliminary rounds carried over,” Musa added.
AWCON Qualifiers: Ebi Targets Revenge Against Ivory Coast
Super Falcons defender, Onome Ebi, says the team will go all out for revenge when they clash against Ivory Coast in their final 2022 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifiers next year.
The qualifying game which will be played on a home and away basis is scheduled for February 13 and 17 with the winners qualifying for the AWCON in Morocco.
The Falcons who will be hoping to defend the title they won at the 2018 in Ghana are eyeing their 10th trophy Morocco but to qualify for the event, they’ll have to go past the Ivorians who knocked them out of contention for the 2020 Olympics in Japan.
Ebi, who is Nigeria’s current longest-serving player says her aim is to avenge the loss that saw them miss out on the 2020 Olympics at the hands of the Ivorians.
“I can tell you that we still nurse the pain of missing out of the Tokyo Olympics as a result of the loss to Cote d’Ivoire in the qualifying series,” Ebi said.
“This time, we will repay them in their own coins. Personally, I want to play in the Africa Cup of Nations and the FIFA World Cup, and I know it is the same for my teammates.”
The Falcons are the most successful African women’s team in the world and have won the AWCON a record nine times and will be hoping to get their 10th next year after the 2020 edition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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