BY SPORTS REPORTER
PREMIER Soccer League clubs will continue with their preparations for the 2020 Castle Lager season despite uncertainty over the start of the campaign and will observe strict medical regulations in preventing the dreaded COVID-19 which has killed thousands of people worldwide, NewsDay Sport has heard.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday declared the pandemic a national disaster and banned gatherings of more than 100 people for the next 60 days, forcing the Premier Soccer League (PSL) to defer the start of the league season this year.
Highlanders chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube yesterday they will continue training, but under closed doors.
“Obviously the pronouncement (by Mnangagwa) is very clear on its own. It’s the reality. We are concerned about the health of our players and the community. We will abide. Our training will continue,” he said. “The numbers are manageable as they fall within the confines of the guidelines. We have a medical team that is permanently with the players at training. We are training under closed doors and our players are picked up from home. There is no interaction with the public. Protocols are being adhered to and being administered by the team doctors. We are taking this very seriously,” Dube said.
Chicken Inn also said they will continue with their pre-season training, observing the pronouncement by the government with spokesperson Tavengwa Hara saying they still await official correspondence from the PSL on the matter.
“We are continuing with our training guided by that statement (from the government), but we are still waiting to hear from PSL which will affect us directly as a club. Our training will be sealed. There will only be players and technical team and we are using our own means of transport,” Hara said.
Bulawayo City club chairman Jerry Sibanda said only their planned friendly matches would be affected, but their training regimes continue.
“We will continue training. Maybe in terms of (friendly) games that is where we are going to have challenges, but we will continue with our training for the next 60 days. You never know maybe it will be less. It can be short, it can be long,” Sibanda said.
The PSL yesterday issued a statement saying: “Following the national address by His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa issued on March 17, the government has postponed, curtailed and cancelled all public events, gatherings and activities of more than 100 people for the next 60 days, the Premier Soccer League hereby announces the postponement of the start of the 2020 Premier Soccer League until further notice.”