Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE Premier Soccer League (PSL) medical committee will meet relevant stakeholders to discuss the safe return of football.
Football has been classified as a high risk sport by the Sports and Recreation Commission, so the PSL assigned the medical committee to come up with a blueprint that will be used as a guideline by clubs on the safe return of the game.
The committee is chaired by Zifa medical committee head Edward Chagonda and Zimbabwe Olympic Committee medical commissioner Nicholas Munyonga is also a member.
The team of doctors was assigned to draw up protocols and procedures to be followed by clubs for the safe return of football activity after the Covid-19 lockdown.
Chagonda said before their recommendations are made public, they’ll first be submitted to Government through the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC). He said a meeting is scheduled for Thursday.
Guidelines for the safe return to training will also be in line with the guiding document from world football governing body Fifa.
“Earlier this month we began working on a document which we said will be out in two weeks. We worked hard to ensure that we do that and now we will be meeting stakeholders before making it public. These stakeholders will obviously be the the relevant government ministries, the SRC and Zifa, who are custodians of the game. The meeting will be done via Zoom,” said Chagonda.
He said the return will be determined by the government and the document that they have been working on seeks to find safe ways for a return which “is peculiar to our country”.
He noted that protocols in Europe are different from Zimbabwe, hence the need to formulate guidelines that satisfy prescribed health standards.
The PSL said following the disruption of football activities as a result of the Covid-19 enforced break, it is working on plans to ensure a safe environment when the government lifts the ban on sporting activities.
Sporting activities have been suspended since the end of March when the national lockdown was effected.
Unlike the rest of the world leagues, whose programmes were underway when Covid-19 struck, the Zimbabwean league was yet to start.
The English Premiership, Spanish La Liga, Bundasliga of Germany and Turkey’s topflight have resumed action in empty stadiums.
The South African Premiership board of governors meets today to finalise on the return of action.
The South African PSL will inform Fifa of its decision.
Teams have already been given the green light to train, with players and officials having undergone the first round of tests, of which 13 confirmed positive cases have been announced across both the PSL and National First Division.
The South African PSL wants matches to be played in one province and part of recommendations include players undergoing tests before going into camp. — @ZililoR