Home Sport PSL teams ‘may not be testing regularly’ for Covid-19

PSL teams ‘may not be testing regularly’ for Covid-19

89
FILE – Sanitising for Covid-19 during the DStv Premiership 2020/21 game between Bloemfontein Celtic and Tshakhuma FC. Picture: Frikkie Kapp, BackpagePix

Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker admits all Dstv Premiership clubs are ’not testing as regularly’ their players for Covid-19.

CAPE TOWN – Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker admits all Dstv Premiership clubs are “not testing as regularly” their players for Covid-19.

The Premiership is in a state of crisis at the moment after Kaizer Chiefs withdrew from their last two fixtures against Cape Town City and Golden Arrows respectively due to the recent outbreak of the Omicron variant that has infected 36 people at the club.

Furthermore, Chiefs are not solely affected with SuperSport United reverting to using Academy players in their 1-0 win over Stellenbosch at the Danie Craven Stadium due to Covid-19 infections, while Amazulu chairman Sandile Zungu also claimed they have four players infected at Usuthu.

“I know for a fact a team like SuperSport test often. They have had positive cases and they testing again tomorrow (Thursday). I am sure other teams are not testing as regularly,” Barker said after the 1-0 defeat.

ALSO READ: It’s Chiefs’ responsibility to contain spread of Covid-19, says team doctor

Asked if he and his players felt safe in the current environment, Barker responded:

“It is a difficult one to know the exact answer. I don’t have control of what other teams are doing.

“But the safety of players and staff becomes paramount. We have to be cautious, but I will leave that to the powers-that-be to make those decisions.

“We test regularly, but we haven’t recently tested. If the cases do continue to rise and spill over into the Western Cape then it will leave us with no alternative.

“We do follow all other protocols. If players do show symptoms they do isolate. We continue everyday to do our screening, so if there any signs we do isolate them. We recently had staff members isolate for 10 days, so in that regard we are following the protocols that we need to.”

ALSO READ: Covid-19 outbreak worsens – Kaizer Chiefs unable to field a team for Arrows clash

The major concern at the moment, however, is the fact that the PSL has not offered up any communication since Chiefs request to have all their matches in December postponed.

Furthermore, it is understood that Chiefs are one of the few clubs that test their players routinely every fortnight along with SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns and a few others.

When the PSL resumed last year teams needed to adhere to the NSL Directive on Return to Training document, which detailed all protocols to ensure safety and to prevent the risk of Covid-19 infections.

ALSO READ: Glamour Boys prepare for Durban trip as players’ isolation ends

However, even back then the smaller clubs such as AmaZulu outlined the challenges that they potentially faced in adhering strictly to the guidelines.

“There are unique issues that we’re dealing with down here. Unlike rugby teams, in soccer, we rely on the local municipality to provide us with facilities,” Usuthu media officer Brilliant Mkhathini said at the time.

The South African Football Association has already postponed the Sasol League play-offs that were due to take place in Durban from 6-12 December with the finals pencilled for Princess Magogo Stadium next Sunday due to “the Omicron variant cases are on the rise”, but there has been no update on the status of the PSL.

@ZaahierAdams

Previous articleBenni plays down talk of Covid-19 outbreak in AmaZulu squad
Next articlePrince Charles and Duchess Camilla urge hesitant people to get Covid vaccine