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FOOTBALL NON-STARTER!

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MBABANE – With the high demanding football resumption COVID-19 guidelines of the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) Medical Committee, it is nearly impossible for teams to start preparations.

As per the proclamation by the EFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Frederick Mngomezulu last Tuesday that teams were to start preparations yesterday, teams were expected to have already started training for the new season scheduled to kick off on November 20. However, teams have openly defied the EFA directive as most indicated that they would not start preparations without clear operational guidelines.

Resume

In a new twist of events, this publication has learnt that the EFA Medical Committee had recently met team medics and provided guidelines through which they had (teams) to resume preparations. An informed source within the EFA has confided in this publication that the guidelines are in line with those of the World Health Organisation (WHO) for football resumption. With the current economic situation of the country, it is nearly impossible for local teams to conform to the guidelines. “When teams start preparations, they must be in a camp and the requirement is that the team is tested for COVID-19 soon after starting the camp,” confided a source.

It is also said that once the team had gathered for the camp, the players must be tested every after 72 hours. “The team must be isolated after testing in the same camp because mingling with the public will expose them to the danger of contracting the virus even if they had tested negative before,” sources claimed.

Screening

According to the sources, at the camp, COVID-19 safety precautions must be strictly followed, meaning there must be regular screening for temperature and sanitisers must be readily available. “If one member of the team exhibits symptoms of the virus, they must be isolated from the other members,” said the source. Results, it has been gathered, are now readily available in a day or two after samples are tested at the laboratory in Mbabane. Meanwhile, EFA Medical Committee Chairman Comfort Shongwe declined to comment, saying it was not his place to sate whether teams should resume preparations or not.

 

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