Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Coaches demand return of football

By Innocent Kurira

The national Zimbabwe Soccer Coaches Association (Zisca) believes there’s an urgent need for the immediate resumption of all football activities in the country.

Bongani Mafu
Bongani Mafu

Zisca held a virtual meeting and outlined reasons why football should be considered an essential service.

The coaches said livelihoods that directly survive on football, the social and economic impact of football on a global scale and health related benefits of exercise derived from the game make it an essential service.

Zisca national chairperson Bheki Nyoni said: “The issue of football resumption rests with Zifa as overseers and we suggest that the Fifa Covid-19 relief fund should be used for its intended purpose, which in this case is to fund a safe return of football in the country.”

Bongani Mafu, the Zisca Bulawayo Province chairman, pointed out that the return of football should be treated as a matter of urgency.

“Football must be given the greenlight to resume as it is an industry where a lot of people derive a living from. As a nation, we can’t drag along while athletes languish in Covid-19 induced abject poverty. We have families that are affected by the prolonged ban on football hence the need to resume football as soon as possible,” said Mafu.

According to the coaches, there are about 2 700 players in the Premier Soccer League and the four Zifa regional Division One leagues, which means their dependents are in a fix due to the football suspension.

The provincial leagues have about 4 800 players and this pyramid has a wider base when considering junior leagues.

While the PSL is working on measures suitable for the return of the game, its chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele has stated that they are fully aware football is not an essential service and it will only resume once the Government deems it safe to do so.

Ndebele told our sister paper the Sunday News that whatever they are doing, is in preparation for an eventual return when permission is granted. The Chronicle