Following the mutant outbreak in Western Norway, Bergen Municipality is asking the central authorities to decide whether Brann can train football. This means that the decision lies with Brann supporter – and Prime Minister – Erna Solberg (H).
Branns doctor Magnus Myntevik holds the dialogue between the elite league club and the municipality – and according to Myntevik, the local infection control authorities will not make the decision whether the top football protocol gives Brann the opportunity to train as normal.
– Bergen municipality says they comply with the rules from central authorities, and that they can not give top sports an exception. Only central authorities can give us that. We hope that the authorities consider us the same as in Ring 1 (in the Oslo area) where top sports have exceptions, Myntevik says to VG.
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After mutation variants of the coronavirus have given invasive infection restrictions in Bergen, Brann took a training break on Monday and must put football on hold. And here the Solberg government’s relevant ministries (culture and health), the Norwegian Directorate of Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health must get involved.
– The municipality can not grant dispensation from the national regulations, medical director Trond Egil Hansen in Bergen municipality explains to VG.
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– We are working on clarification. When the municipalities of East Norway were shut down, it was with the same wording as the three municipalities in Western Norway with the strictest measures, and then the Norwegian Sports Confederation was in contact with the Ministry of Culture, which in turn was in contact with the health authorities. Then the message was that it was not the intention that top sports should close down. We assume this applies to Western Norway now, but are awaiting confirmation from central authorities as there is various information about what applies now, says elite director Lise Klaveness in the Norwegian Football Association.
During intensified infection measures, such as the use of communal changing rooms and public transport for training is not allowed, affected clubs such as Vålerenga’s men’s and women’s teams were allowed to return to the training field last week. Top football players living in Oslo and the other eastern municipalities could also be allowed to go back to work for their respective teams after a week.
Now Brann, Åsane in the Obosligaen and Sandviken and Arna-Bjørnar from the Toppserien have to wait for the authorities. General manager Gorm Natlandsmyr in Åsane states that the players train individually outdoors throughout this week.
– We work with the Norwegian Sports Confederation to get the confirmation. The infection control protocol in top football is made precisely to be able to regulate and maintain activity through different levels of infection, says Klaveness.
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Fire doctor Magnus Myntevik believes that the top football protocol – prepared during the corona outbreak last year and which ensured that the football season at the top levels was carried out – also holds against mutated virus variants.
– We have great faith that the protocol is good protection and is equipped for this situation. It involves both strict player quarantine and a monitoring of the players, which means that viruses have only exceptionally spread within the team. Most importantly, we have not spread further infection out of the cohort. With the help of the protocol, we have stopped and controlled all outbreaks in top football, Myntevik points out.
– And Erna says yes to Brann, right?
– One would think so. She probably does what she thinks is best for the country, says Myntevik with a smile.
The Ministry of Culture and the Prime Minister’s Office refer to the Ministry of Health and Care Services for statements in this case. They have not yet responded to VG’s inquiry.
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