The coronavirus pandemic has hit Kaitano Tembo’s dressing room after three of his Supersport United players, and an official, tested positive for the virus in the last two weeks.
The two affected players, and the official, have since been cleared of the virus after going on 14-day quarantine.
The third player is still in isolation.
“We would like to confirm four Covid-19 positive cases, which include three players and a staff member,’’ the club said on Twitter yesterday.
“Two players, and the staff member, were put into quarantine for 14 days after testing positive while the necessary contract tracing had taken place.
“The trio went for retesting and tested negative.
“The duo (the players) have returned to full training and have joined the rest of the Matsatsantsa squad in preparation for the completion of the season.
“The third player is currently in isolation for 14 days and is in high spirits and feeling well.
“We are continuing with all protocols and awaiting news from the Premier Soccer League for the resumption of the 2019/20 season.’’
SuperSport United, who are also home to Zimbabwean players Evans Rusike, Onismor Bhasera, Kuda Mahachi and goalkeeper Washington Arubi, are the latest to reveal some of their employees have been affected by the virus.
South African football leaders are looking to complete the remaining seven games off the season.
Their neighbours in Zimbabwe are yet to start testing players after the coronavirus lockdown made it impossible to start the season in March.
ZIFA have set aside funds for testing and it will not be surprising, to get more positive cases, because of the rising local cases in Zimbabwe.
Testing is one of the fundamental measures to resume football on the continent.
Orlando Pirates midfielder, Ben Motshwari, was the first South African player to be infected but has since made a full recovery.
Kaizer Chiefs had two cases reported while a Bloemfontein Celtic player, and three staff members at Stellenbosch FC, also contacted the virus.
Mamelodi Sundowns were also hit by the virus and they confirmed this week they now have a clean bill of health.
Five players, and staff members, who had tested positive, managed to beat the virus.
They have all rejoined the club at their Rustenburg base as they prepare for the resumption of the Supa Diski season.
“Mamelodi Sundowns welcomed back five personnel who have fully recovered from Covid-19, having spent 14 days in isolation,” the club said in a statement.
“Following the PSL’s green light for clubs to train, Mamelodi Sundowns players, technical team and support staff went for their second Covid-19 test while the training grounds were fumigated and prepared for the team.
“The training programme was also revised in accordance with the new protocols.
“Before the team could resume training in Rustenburg, a third test was conducted, and five cases of asymptomatic nature were detected and the five immediately self-isolated for 14 days.
“Among the five, [the] players that tested positive had to undergo further medical tests, cardiology [ECG, heart sonar] and pulmonology [lung scans], which also revealed that there was no cause for concern to their cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
“With this good news, the five personnel have joined the rest of the team from Tuesday, 21 July.
“The medical team has cleared the players for training and the spirit in the camp remains high as everyone is working hard in preparation for the remainder of the current league [season].”
Zimbabwe football legend, Peter Ndlovu, is the team manager at Sundowns.
South African football officials say they will decide today whether to restart the richest league, on the continent, or cancel it amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The league sponsors and broadcasters favour a resumption of the championship, with all matches behind closed doors in Gauteng province.
But, there has been concern Gauteng is also the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak in South Africa, which claimed 5,940 lives in that country by Wednesday, the highest toll in an African nation.
Teams have been warned they will lose their 2.5 million rand ($150,000) monthly grant unless football restarts.
Club officials estimate it costs between 3.5 and four million rand each month to run a top-flight club so the grant plays a significant role.
Kaizer Chiefs lead the championship race, four points ahead of defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns, having played one match more. The Herald