Players to undergo Covid-19 test

As the battle against the spread of coronavirus continues, Super League of Malawi (Sulom) intends to introduce mandatory test for all players and officials before the 2020 season starts.

Sulom President Tiya Somba-Banda said this was one of the safety measures which the body is planning to introduce to safeguard lives in wake of the pandemic.

“It will be necessary for our players to undergo Covid test a week before the league kicks-off as a precaution. Clubs should be encouraged on this so that once the league starts we should not have any case to do with Covid-19,” Somba- Banda said.

The Sulom President said they would engage Ministry of Health to provide guidelines and conduct coronavirus test.

“We are just making some plans in readiness of the new season. Once the suspension of all sporting activities is lifted we need to be cautious and not get too excited. We will still be required to follow the safety tips. This is why it is important to engage the Ministry of Health,” he said.

Ministry of Health publicist, Joshua Malango, said they were waiting for official communication.

“From there we can pick it up and offer tips on how best to handle the situation. But this could best be handled when everything normalizes. Otherwise at the moment the message is simple regularly wash your hands and keep social distance among others,” he said.

However, soccer analyst George Chiusiwa has asked Sulom to closely monitor players and teams operating from close to borders including Karonga United.

“You can you bear with me that players were released after government banned all sporting activities and it means that they are in different locations. This is why we need the test. All players should be required to undergo the test. Sulom should engage the Ministry of Health to acquire the Covid test machine as the process does not require much time,” he said.

Chiusiwa also asked clubs to take an initiative to enable their players to undergo Covid-19 test before the season gets underway.

“The onus is on the clubs as well. So it is everyone’s responsibility to make sure everyone is safe,” he said.

Football and other sporting activities are going through a dry spell after State President Peter Mutharika declared Malawi as a state of national disaster.

Following the declaration, public gatherings were restricted to less than 100 people. The same declaration also forced local sporting bodies including Football Association of Malawi (Fam) and Super League of Malawi (Sulom) to postpone the kick-off of the season which was due to start on March 21.

Similarly, Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) also barred athletes, teams and associations from travelling for international competitions.

This meant sporting events such as netball, athletics, handball and judo will not travel for international events that were scheduled for next month.