By the look of things, we here on the continent are just catching on to the entry-level of the infectious disease curve
Dear friends, colleagues and familiar strangers, we will have to pause the football project for a while to allow the country to deal effectively with a life-threatening situation that is affecting the globe at large.
You must be aware that the president of the republic Mr Cyril Ramapahosa has cautioned the public not to assemble in big numbers at any place. The Government has advised that all schools will be closed as of tomorrow.
This matter is serious. It is deadly. The doctors have no cure for it. Already scores of people have succumbed to the disease labelled as Covid-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO) or popularly known as the coronavirus.
Football, as you know, is a contact sport. The WHO advises that the infection is spread from person to person via tiny droplets that we cannot see. By yesterday morning the SA Football Association (Safa) had held a press briefing with many media houses regarding the spread of this disease. Later in the day, Safa was locked in an urgent meeting to discuss the president’s advisory regarding public meetings and the risk of infection to those who meet and consort.
Suffice to know that Safa has decided to suspend all Premier Soccer League fixtures for tonight as well as at the weekend. The organisation will advise further regarding the remainder of the Absa Premier League fixtures including the semi-finals and finals of the Nedbank Cup competition. With that said, it will be in the interest of us all to observe some basic sanitary protocols to put up a modest defence barrier for ourselves.
The health authorities advise that we must regularly cleanse our hands with soap, especially after handling objects. Where possible or where advised so, please wear a face mask. Other than that just avoid becoming an infectious disease statistic.
With that bit of public education and information piece taken care of, here is what is top of my mind this week. First up is the most depressing news about Mamelodi Sundowns short-circuited campaign in the CAF Champions League.
Sundown’s loss to Egypt’s Al Ahly and their subsequent failure to progress in this contest is especially devastating when one knows that the Chloorkop team are capable of tidying one over the Egyptians.
They have done it before and did it convincingly so. For them to come unstuck at their home ground in Tshwane was extremely disappointing.
The final is scheduled to take place in Douala, Cameroon on May 29. But then maybe we ought to keep an open mind about that date in view of the spread of the Covid-19 infectious disease.
Here at home, the Nedbank Cup contest had over the weekend spat out its last amateur side to still give the big guns a run for their silverware. TS Sporting was the amateur side to see the end of their journey in this premier, bank-sponsored competition. They succumbed on penalties to the never-say-die Siwelele Sa Masele at KaNyamazane stadium in Mbombela.
The finals of this competition might be postponed or decided on an alternative basis rather than on the pitch, if the comments on telly by PSL chairperson Dr Irvin Khoza are anything to go by. We will listen on the radio for news about this from the PSL.
In parting: Maybe it is time we contemplate weekends without robust, outdoor sports for now. By the look of things, we here on the continent are just catching on to the entry-level of the infectious disease curve. How long it will stick around nobody knows.
Maybe there is a buck somewhere in this scenario for an entrepreneur to work out an alternative sports model for the world, Who knows? Salang.