ATHLETES and sportsmen representing national teams or playing for local clubs or federations in overseas events, and administrators accompanying them, could receive health insurance for the time under a parliamentary proposal submitted yesterday.

The proposal by the nine-member Strategic Thinking Parliamentary Bloc, headed by MP Ahmed Al Salloom, aims to ensure that athletes and sportsmen are provided with proper treatment should they get injured or hurt.

Also, the bloc believes it would see many worried athletes and sportsmen breathe a sigh of relief, without the fear that they would be left with a crippling injury that would end their career at an early stage.

“Several athletes and sportsmen have gone on social media to showcase their conditions following an injury in overseas participations that has seen their contracts with clubs terminated and them being unable to return to their former physical specimen,” said bloc spokesman MP Khalid Bu Onk.

“Following their appeals, the leadership has always intervened to send the players for treatment in the best medical facilities,” he added.

“However, there are others who remained quiet and are now still on crutches, in wheelchairs or in chronic pain.

“For that, there has to be obligatory health insurance on everyone leaving as part of a delegation including administrators, coaches and support staff, who may fall sick or even get injured during training.”

Mr Bu Onk said the move would be significant as it would increase contribution and giving.

“Players are afraid they would get injured when representing the country, but now when they know they wouldn’t be ignored if they get injured, they will better perform,” he said.

“It is true that each and everyone wearing national colours should put in their best, many look beyond that to their livelihoods at clubs or federations – continuity.”

The amendments, which were handed over to Parliament Speaker Ahmed Al Musallam’s office, will be now referred to the relevant committee for review.

It covers the 1989 Social, Cultural and Sports and Youth Clubs, Organisations and Societies Law.

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