BY TERRY MADYAUTA
Manica Diamonds coach Johannes Nhumwa is worried that players might be engaging in alcohol and drug abuse during the extended time of inactivity due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
The government is reluctant to allow football and other high-risk sporting disciplines to resume, with 24 low-risk sporting codes having been allowed to resume this week following the lifting of some of the lockdown restrictions.
Football, rugby, netball, volleyball, hockey and basketball are among the codes that have remained banned.
Football coaches and players have been mourning over the lengthy period on the sidelines as well as the uncertainty of the 2021 season.
Coaches are worried about what activities players might be engaging in to either earn a living or pass time.
He said the period had been difficult both for the players and coaches, particularly financially.
“You can only try to control people if they are nearby, if you are able to train with them and spend time with them.
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“But at the moment, I don’t know how my other colleagues are managing this,” Nhumwa said.
“The time has been long and we have been apart for so long. Of course, the companies try to cushion us, but all that seems not enough.
“This is the time we all need to unite and pray for our players and ourselves, because some might get lost forever. There is serious need for help.”
The consensus among major sporting governing bodies and organisations has been to strictly regulate the use of drugs in sport, in order to prevent the health risks, promote equal opportunity for athletes, and to maintain a drug-free image for the public.
And Nhumwa suggests that when football returns, there should be enforcement of the doping rules to curtail doping should there be players consuming drugs to enhance performance considering long time of inactivity.
- Follow Terry on Twitter @madyautatpm