PSL prepares for possible August kick-off

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By Sports Reporter

THE Premier Soccer League (PSL) has taken the first step towards the possible August kick-off to the 2020 season after revealing plans to ensure a safe environment for players when the football finally receives the go-ahead from government to resume activities.

The new season, which was scheduled to get underway in March, is on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But, with the ZIFA Emergency Committee provisionally setting August/September as the tentative period in which football activities could resume in the country, the PSL is already preparing for a possible kick-off.

In a statement Tuesday, the PSL said its Sports Medicine Committee will engage medical doctors from the various clubs to map the procedures on how teams can start training.

“Following the disruption of football activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Premier Soccer League is working on plans to ensure that we have a safe football environment once we are given the green light to resume matches by the government,” PSL spokesperson, Kudzai Bare said.

“The PSL Sports Medicine Committee has been tasked to come up with protocols and procedures to be followed by all PSL clubs during football competitions in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Currently, players have been training on their own at home after the government imposed a ban on all sporting activities as the country went through an unprecedented lockdown period from late March.

However, government on Monday gazetted the legal provisions allowing the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation to classify sporting activities by risk of Covid-19 infection, permit low-risk sport events, and telling sports associations how to apply for exemptions for low-risk activity.

Football is currently classified as a high-risk sport but the PSL is already coming up with safety protocols to prepare clubs when football activities resume.

“The protocols will provide guidelines that will assist clubs with training and matchday procedures upon the resumption of football competitions,” Bare said.

“The PSL Sports Medicine Committee will work in liaison with club medical doctors. The draft procedures will be shared with the Sports and Recreation Commission, ZIFA and other relevant stakeholders.

“These procedures will be continuously reviewed and updated in accordance with the general health situation in the country and recommendations from the health authorities.”