Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Acting Sports Editor
REFEREES have called on the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) to intervene in their fight with the Zifa Referees Committee over the former’s decision to conduct Rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for Covid-19 ahead of the fitness test for 93 referees at the end of this month.
The referees argue that the RDT is not reliable as it can produce negative results when someone is actually positive and even get a positive result on a negative person.
Speaking to Chronicle Sport soon after getting a communiqué from the Zifa Referees Committee secretary general Obert Zhoya which stated that renowned medical doctor Edward Chagonda will conduct the RDT test at the Zifa house a day before the fitness test, referees said the committee must instead conduct a polymerise chain reaction (PCR) tests.
“Following Fifa guidelines that referees should undergo fitness test before the 1st of November 2020, the referees committee wishes to invite all referees on Fifa and Zifa panel to a fitness test on Saturday 31st October 2020 in Harare starting at 0700hrs.
Following up on this invitation that was forwarded on 10 September 2020, all invited participants are being informed that Chagonda will be at Zifa house as from 10am on Friday 30 October to carry out Covid -19 Rdt tests.
The change on time has been done to afford enough time for the results to be released before the other mandatory tests,” reads the communiqué from Zhoya.
The referees said the committee must instead use part of the US$44 000 which it was allocated as part of the Covid-19 relief funds from Fifa.
“This is playing with people’s lives, Covid-19 is not a joke and there is therefore need for these people to take it seriously. RDT is not reliable at all because I can come out negative yet I have the virus and the next thing everyone is infected, remember this virus is deadly on people with underlying conditions and some are known to have asthma among other common conditions. So it will really be prudent for the SRC to intervene on this matter and bring these people to order,” said a referee, speaking on condition of anonymity.