BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
GOVERNMENT has given the green light for the resumption of domestic football after Sports minister Kirsty Coventry (pictured) yesterday submitted a raft of proposals to Zifa.
Only one competitive match has been played this year after the government suspended sporting activities in March to try and combat the spread of COVID-19.Coventry made the announcement at a Press conference attended by football stakeholders, including Zifa president Felton Kamambo.
She said her ministry through the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) proposed a change in the format of the league and suggested a mini-league format.
“We all know that soccer is classified as high risk, but we have been working with the SRC taskforce and sports doctors and came up with some ideas and proposals that we have shared with Zifa, Premier Soccer League and the Women’s League and we are asking them to go and look through the concept and see how viable it will be in terms of resumption of football,” she said.
Coventry added that the approach to the resumption was based on the bubble concept they want to borrow from the USA’s NBA.
“It’s based on the bubble concept we have seen in the USA with the NBA and we are quite excited, but, obviously, we are leaving it to technocrats and the people in charge of soccer to tell us if it will be feasible for them and how we will all work together. So I am putting a bit of pressure on them to say that if they can review with all their expertise and come back to us and hopefully, by the end of the week or next week we should be able to have another announcement with some exciting news,” she said.
Coventry, however, could not divulge the exact date of football restart, but said they were excited that the game, which had been in limbo since March, would now be played this year.
“We all know that sport in general and soccer in particular is the heart and soul of this country and this will bring some much-needed mental relief,” she said.
Kamambo also expressed delight over the document presented to them.
“We are also happy with the proposal, but at the same time we are also happy honourable minister that life is coming back because to some of us, football is life. What we have been missing is now coming back and I hope it will be exciting as well,” he said.