The Brave Warriors will continue to prepare for the Chan finals in Cameroon later this month, despite 10 players and one technical staff member having tested positive for Covid-19.
On 2 January, the NFA announced on its website that its preparations had been temporarily halted,
“The local-based players have been in camp since 8 December and after routine tests done on 29 December, 10 players and one technical staff member tested positive for Covid-19. The NFA immediately activated the relevant protocols that includes isolation and calling off group activities temporarily,” it said.
NFA secretary general Franco Cosmos yesterday, however, said that their training camp will continue.
“The 10 players and official have gone into quarantine at our hotel, which is also a quarantine facility of the government. But the training camp will continue without them and if they are cleared, they will join the camp again,” he said, adding that he had also picked up the virus.
“I contracted the virus myself, and I must also follow the rules and protocols as set out by the government. I’m sick and I’m struggling to breathe. I’ve had it since 21 December and some days it feels better, but then it comes back again,” he said.
Cosmos said that despite the latest disruptions, they were still on track.
“There were 31 players in our squad and Caf says you can have up to 33 players, because of the uncertainties due to Covid-19. They cater for 23 players and seven officials, while we have to cater for the rest. It’s only if you don’t have 15 players that you lose a game,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s preparations have also been hit after nine players and five staff members tested positive for Covid-19.
The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has suspended all training sessions for the Zimbabwe Chan team following news of the positive cases.
In a statement, the organisation described the development as a “painful scenario” and a “huge setback”.
“We pray that all the 14 will prevail and recover soon,” Zifa added.
Cosmos, however, said that the Chan tournament, set for 16 January to 7 February in Cameroon, was still on.
“Covid-10 is an international problem, it’s all over the world now, but I haven’t heard of a cancellation of the tournament yet,” he said.
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