Zimbabwe: CAF Draft Guidelines for Football Resumption

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A ray of light filtered through the dark clouds which have been hovering over football on the continent after Confederation of African Football laid out guidelines for the resumption of the game.

The 2020 Castle Lager Premiership failed to get underway in March, and there have been doubts whether the campaign will get underway this year, because of the spike in the coronavirus cases.

The domestic football leaders have tentatively set August or September for the start of the campaign.

ZIFA and the PSL could now be guided by a framework released by CAF yesterday to aid associations to plan for the games.

However, CAF made it clear that the National Recovery Plan was not a greenlight to start games across the continent, but the situation will depend on the context of each member association.

"It is clear that the federations must first ensure that the players' salary situation is favourable for any resumption of training and competition activities.

"Likewise, psychological assistance should be offered to teams and players," said CAF in a 27-page document titled "CAF Guidelines to Resume Football in Africa".

The document places emphasis on the health of the major stakeholders (players, officials, fans, partners) as the essential element, which should constitute the basis of all decisions regarding the reintroduction of football activities across the continent, depending on authorisation from relevant State authorities.

The plan also highlights on effective, and continuous medical testing of players and officials, guidelines for training sessions, disinfection of sporting facilities, as well as strict adherence to the global preventive protocols.

"This comprehensive document is a major step towards resuming football on the continent," CAF acting general-secretary, Abdelmounaim Bah.

"Based on recent developments, it is important we have a plan in place to guide our stakeholders on the return of continental and domestic competitions, and the need for an all-hands-on-deck approach.

"Many considerations were factored into the putting together of the document by our team of experts, notably the specificities of the continent.

"Together, with strategies established by local authorities, it provides the MAs with adequate information to resume operations upon receiving the green light."

CAF are also planning for the resumption of inter-club competitions like the CAF Champions League, where FC Platinum are supposed to represent Zimbabwe later this year.

The organising committee for Inter-clubs competitions and management of club licensing, and the organising committee for women's football held meetings, via video-conference, last week on the future on the various competitions.

The CAF executive committee is scheduled to meet next Tuesday, via video-conference, and will make pronouncements on the recommendations by the standing committees.

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