Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE Sports and Recreation Commission has green lighted football to return after months of inactivity due to the Coronavirus outbreak that paralysed sporting activities on a global scale.
The approval is in line with provisions of Statutory Instrument 200 of 2020.
In a letter to Zifa secretary-general Joseph Mamutse, SRC director-general Prince Mupazviriho said football training had been okayed with effect from yesterday, while competition proper will be conducted in a bubble format, just like what happened across the Limpopo in South Africa.
“The Sports and Recreation Commission hereby gives you notice, following your application that the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation approved the gradual and phased resumption of football activities effective 16th of October in line with the provisions of Statutory Instrument 200 of 2020,” reads the statement by Mupazviriho.
He said the approval was for the Premier Soccer League, Women’s Soccer League and all national teams.
He emphasised that the resumption will take the format of a mini-league using the bubble concept.
“The resumption of football activities shall take the format of the mini-league using the bubble concept adopted by yourselves. The football activities in addition to the requirements specified by World Health Organisation (WHO) for safe resumption of sport, Statutory Instrument 200 of 2020, your submitted protocols, other legislation and policy directives relating to the prevention and containment of Covid-19, be subject to the following conditions; strict adherence to the bubble concept, implementation of Standard Operating Procedures and Zifa and its affiliates to provide resources and finances to undertake those activities,” said the SRC.
It said resumption of the game was a phased approach and assessments will be done during the initial stage on whether or not all provisions are in place and adherence to set protocols in order to inform the complete resumption of all football activities.
“Please note that all protocols for the resumption and containment of Covid-19 must be observed at all times and SRC expect strict and full compliance by all your members,” said the Commission.
There was, however, no clarity on whether fans will be allowed into the stadia during friendly and official matches.