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Football back in March

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ZIFA have set the first week of March as the potential kick off period for the local leagues, including the Premier Soccer League (PSL), as the football supreme body appears to have ditched the mini league plans that had been proposed by the government for the top division.

by KEVIN MAPASURE

ZIFA have set the first week of March as the potential kick off period for the local leagues, including the Premier Soccer League (PSL), as the football supreme body appears to have ditched the mini league plans that had been proposed by the government for the top division.

The local football mother body has since indicated that the bio-bubble mini league which had been scheduled for the PSL was an expensive exercise which is elitist.

Zifa this week wrote to affiliates informing them that they can resume training with the target being the first week of March as the dates for the resumption of leagues.

Only PSL sides had been training over the last few weeks after Zifa facilitated COVID-19 tests and from next month the lower leagues can also resume training.

Zifa communications and competitions manager Xolisani Gwesela, in his correspondence to the affiliates, warned that teams should be prepared to play in empty stadiums.

“Following the government’s approval for football to return after the COVID-19 break, the executive committee would like to know if you are prepared to start training on January 4 2021. The proposed date for commencement of the league programmes is first week of March in 2021,” Gwesela’s letter read. “Please bear in mind that the resumption of football activities is preceded by mandatory COVID-19 testing of all stakeholders, with only COVID-19-free individuals being allowed to participate while those found positive should self-isolate.”

Clubs face a tough start to the season if government policies on crowds are not changed by the time the season kicks off.

Likewise, attracting sponsorship for matches that will be played in empty stadia could be a challenge.

The PSL is yet to ink a sponsorship deal, although Delta Beverages had indicated that they were looking to renew their contract with the top division.

Zifa warned the clubs that they would need to brace up for unusual prospects.

“Football post-COVID-19 brings about new realities for football institutions which you should brace up for. The likelihood of playing in empty stadiums is very high considering that large gatherings are prohibited. Zifa will honour its promise to pay for initial tests for all players as well as paying referees’ fees for the forthcoming season.”

Zifa also asked clubs to adhere to government set guidelines on COVID-19 in order to try and persuade the authorities to gradually allow the return of the fans into stadiums.

˜ Follow Kevin on

Twitter @KevinMapasure

The local football mother body has since indicated that the bio-bubble mini league which had been scheduled for the PSL was an expensive exercise which is elitist.

Zifa this week wrote to affiliates informing them that they can resume training with the target being the first week of March as the dates for the resumption of leagues.

Only PSL sides had been training over the last few weeks after Zifa facilitated COVID-19 tests and from next month the lower leagues can also resume training.

Zifa communications and competitions manager Xolisani Gwesela, in his correspondence to the affiliates, warned that teams should be prepared to play in empty stadiums.

“Following the government’s approval for football to return after the COVID-19 break, the executive committee would like to know if you are prepared to start training on January 4 2021. The proposed date for commencement of the league programmes is first week of March in 2021,” Gwesela’s letter read. “Please bear in mind that the resumption of football activities is preceded by mandatory COVID-19 testing of all stakeholders, with only COVID-19-free individuals being allowed to participate while those found positive should self-isolate.”

Clubs face a tough start to the season if government policies on crowds are not changed by the time the season kicks off.

Likewise, attracting sponsorship for matches that will be played in empty stadia could be a challenge.

The PSL is yet to ink a sponsorship deal, although Delta Beverages had indicated that they were looking to renew their contract with the top division.

Zifa warned the clubs that they would need to brace up for unusual prospects.

“Football post-COVID-19 brings about new realities for football institutions which you should brace up for. The likelihood of playing in empty stadiums is very high considering that large gatherings are prohibited. Zifa will honour its promise to pay for initial tests for all players as well as paying referees’ fees for the forthcoming season.”

Zifa also asked clubs to adhere to government set guidelines on COVID-19 in order to try and persuade the authorities to gradually allow the return of the fans into stadiums.

˜ Follow Kevin on

Twitter @KevinMapasure

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