Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has decided to bring the 2019/20 Super League season to an early closure, after less than a month of action since its resumption on 18th July.
In a statement issued on Friday, 31st July, the country’s football governing body said it took decision following the increase of Covid-19 infections among players and teams officials.
“The decision to close the league has been necessitated by the concerns that the Association has received from various stakeholders especially Government through the Ministry of Health particularly from Zambia National Public Health Institute. The recent surge in numbers of the COVID-19 occurrences has put a strain on the health system across the board,” read part of the statement.
FAZ said it has been monitoring the situation and also constantly engaging authorities to chart the way forward, as the numbers continue to surge.
“One of the major challenges has been the long delays in securing test appointments and results by most of the clubs in the league after being tested which meant that certain matches could not be played due to the inability of clubs to produce results when called upon to do so. Regrettably, with the surge in numbers, it has meant that the flow of results has been slower.
“Unfortunately despite signing up to observe the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, the compliance levels by most of the clubs have also not been satisfactory. The ZNPHI noted some lapses that they brought to our attention and the clubs affected.
“Among the breaches noted by ZNPHI from our clubs were failure to manage the isolation of players and officials who tested positive, unrestricted access to camping sites, failure to observe social distancing and lack of sanitizers and disinfectants at designated places.”
The current league season will be concluded on August 6, 2020, after all the teams have played their Week 27 round of matches.
FAZ further confirmed that the 2020/21 season will start on 17th October, 2020.
To this far, Zambia has recorded 5,555 positive Covid-19 cases, with 3,289 recoveries and 149 deaths.