SOCCER: One camp for all clubs
SOCCER - THE much-anticipated resumption of football activities in the country is set to hit hard on the pockets of both the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) and Premier League of Eswatini (PLE).
View pictures in App save up to 80% data. This follows a recommendation by the continent’s football mother body (CAF) that clubs should be based in one city when football activities resume since the outbreak of the coronavirus three months ago.
CAF has proposed that teams should be kept in one place until the end of the respective championships while the local football calendar is still left with two competitions in the EswatiniBank Cup and the MTN Premier League.
Team players and officials are all expected to undergo COVID-19 testing before resuming training, according to a document from CAF, which is in the possession of this publication.
A source close to the matter asserted that the EFA medical committee suggested that the clubs should be based in the Manzini region if government eventually gave the greenlight to the resumption of football activities.
“Two venues in UNESWA (Matsapha campus) and the Esibayeni Lodge have been identified as the main venues to set up the clubs’ camp bases. Several consultations are still on-going, including the costs of booking the facilities and the final decision will be taken once all the logistics are finalised. “Both EFA and PLE are expected to provide testing equipment for clubs before the beginning of training.
“Players will undergo all the necessary precautions before going to the camp base and each team is expected to have 33 personnel, including 23 players and 10 members inclusive of technical bench and medical officials,” said the source. EFA Head of Medical Committee Dr Comfort Shongwe said he was yet to go through the CAF recommendations on the proposed resumption of football activities when reached for comment.
“I am not yet privy to comment on the matter you are talking about until I see the CAF proposals, which we have to discuss as a committee before taking any decision,” he said.
It had recently reported by this publication that three Premier League clubs have already been affected by the pandemic.
This was after their officials and players reportedly tested positive. A four-member PLE committee, headed by Mbabane Swallows Board of Governors member Andreas Lukhele is currently working on all COVID -9 football related matters.