Zimbabwe: PSL Record Two More Covid-19 Cases

Senior Sports Reporter

THE Premiership recorded two Covid-19 cases over the weekend ahead of the Group One Chibuku Super Cup matches.

This brings the number to three since the top-flight league was allowed to resume their activities, last month.

According to a statement, issued by the Premier Soccer League chief executive Kenny Ndebele yesterday, a player and an official, from the same club, tested positive.

They did not take part in matchday proceedings.

Only Group One, based in Harare, had matches during this weekend.

The other three groups have four teams, in each group, and completed their first stage, of the round-robin matches, last week.

Sport was yesterday placed on an indefinite suspension by the Sports Commission, in compliance with the Government directive, to ban all gatherings.

This is part of a cocktail of measures targeted at curbing the spread of Covid-19, amid rising cases of infection, in the country.

"The Premier League has recorded two positive Covid-19 cases following routine tests conducted over the weekend of 12/13 June 2021," said Ndebele.

"The individuals, a club official and a player from the same club, were excluded from taking part in Match Five-day activities.

"This brings the total of recorded positive Covid-19 cases to three, since the resumption of football, in May.

"The individuals will follow PSL, ZIFA, SRC, Ministry of Health and Child Welfare and WHO guidelines, and protocols, regarding self-isolation.

The PSL urges all stakeholders to strictly adhere to the Covid-19 protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.

"The league will not provide specific details on the club or individuals. We wish them a speedy recovery."

With the low numbers of infections, in the domestic Premiership, who test their players and officials before every match, some clubs have started appealing to the authorities to let them continue with their activities.

PSL spokesperson, Kudzai Bare, said they have communicated with the clubs about the latest guidance from the authorities.

"We stand guided by the government in all our operations. We have communicated with the clubs," she said.

But, some clubs, told The Herald the only information they received was from the mainstream, and social media, regarding the ban.

A club official, who requested anonymity, said they resolved their players were not going to report for training, this morning, while they wait for further communication, from the PSL.

"Let's hope something positive will come out from the meetings that PSL, ZIFA, and SRC are having.

"In the meantime, we have told our players not to report for training. Once everything is clearer, we can task our technical team to give the players some training programmes.

"But, we are keeping our fingers crossed that something will positive will happen," he said.

Dynamos spokesperson, Yvonne Mangunda, said they will comply with the directive.

"We will wait until the decision to allow sport to be played again is made," she said.

"The Sports and Recreation made a decision based on what the country's leadership decided.

"So, like the previous lockdowns, we will wait for the decision that allows us to train, and play matches again, to be made."

Mangunda says the suspension of the league activities was a huge setback for the Glamour Boys.

Dynamos are the pacesetters in Group One, with 11 points, followed by CAPS United, who have seven points.

"It is obviously a setback because whenever the sport is allowed to be played again, fitness issues will come into play," she said.

"Training individually is different from training as a group, training without games is different from training while playing matches in between.

"We were on a good run in the Chibuku Super Cup and hoped to keep that momentum.

"It obviously also affects players mentally when you have been inactive for more than a year, then finally get chance to play but then have to stop again.

"Players love to be active, playing matches, training with others, and winning like we were doing.

"It is also the uncertainty that affects us, as a club, because the pandemic is not over, so we do not know what the future holds and how sport will be affected, in the future."

Mangunda said they will remain optimistic.

"We obviously want to play, it's the reason we were vaccinated and were strictly adhering to the mandatory pre-match testing," she said.

"We were doing all that was asked of us, when we were the home team, to ensure a safe environment for the players.

"We are hoping we will be allowed to play because teams were following the laid down conditions, for a safe environment.

"Clubs were doing all that was asked to protect the players."

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