Eddie Chikamhi–Senior Sports Reporter
THE Premier Soccer League have raised the red flag after cases of Covid-19 were detected among players from different clubs in the latest rounds of testing.
PSL spokesperson Kudzai Bare yesterday said “a number of positive Covid-19 cases” have been recorded, although she could not shed further details about the affected clubs.
Clubs have been conducting routine tests as part of the health requirements to create a safe environment for the players, officials and other stakeholders.
“The Premier Soccer League has received reports of a number of positive Covid-19 cases among the PSL clubs.
Please be advised that we are working with club doctors and the PSL Sports Medicine Committee and other relevant stakeholders to assist the affected and contain the spread of the virus.
“We advise our clubs and stakeholders to strictly follow the Covid-19 protocols and match operating procedures,” said Bare. The emergence of Covid-19 cases, however, could be a bad signal to the sport. The topflight league is expected to complete the Chibuku Super Cup this Sunday when FC Platinum host Ngezi Platinum in the final at Mandava.
Most of the clubs are not involved this weekend and are scheduled to resume action next week in the league competition.
The marathon is still in its infancy, with only two rounds of play having been completed so far.
The latest statistics raise fears that the game could be affected again this season.
The domestic league failed to kick off in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and clubs complained of huge financial losses.
They also experienced contract dilemmas with players, leading to the intervention of FIFA to save the situation that had also affected many countries across the globe.
And when football was allowed to resume, starting with the Chibuku Super Cup earlier in the year, sterner measures had to be taken again following a sharp increase in the cases between June and July, when the knock-out tournament was at full swing.
The competition suffered disruptions and authorities revealed there was a staggering 600 percent increase in the number of positive Covid-19 cases, when the tournament resumed in July.
But with rigorous health checks and strict adherence to the health protocols recommended by the PSL Sports Medicine Committee, the SRC, Government and World Health Organisation, the situation had been contained.
Among the conditions of play, the clubs were expected to test their players regularly, constantly fumigate their training and playing facilities, conduct health checks, ensure sanitisation and employ a compliance officer who enforces the health protocols.
Matches had been played behind closed doors and, a limited number of fully vaccinated spectators, was only allowed back in the terraces last month.