BULAWAYO top flight teams have remained on high alert over the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak as they continue with their preseason training in a bid to maintain players’ fitness.
The league was originally scheduled to kick-off last weekend but due to the global pandemic, all public gathering with over 100 people are now prohibited for the next 60 days.
This forced the Premier Soccer League (PSL) to push back the start of the new campaign until the situation improves.
World-over most sporting events have been postponed indefinitely with 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games on the verge of being cancelled until next year.
The four Bulawayo teams — Highlanders, Chicken Inn, Bulawayo City and Bulawayo Chiefs — have resorted to taking precautionary measures instead, while making sure their players remain in shape come kick off time.
“We will be training and but we will reduce training days. We will also take necessary precautions against Covid-19.
“We need to maintain certain levels of fitness for muscular and cardiovascular systems. However, the break gives us an opportunity to work on combinations.
“We were geared up for the season. In terms of enthusiasm we were disturbed psychologically, we are kind of put off. We were ready to start the season; we had consolidated our squad for the season.
“However, we are also taking time to educate our players on how to curb Covid-19 through our medical team,” Bulawayo Chiefs coach Thulani Sibanda told the Daily News.
Bosso spokesperson Ronald Moyo only preferred to say their main priority was the safety of players.
“Our immediate challenge is to keep everyone healthy.
“We understand our main business is football, but life is sacred. The club is working, and will continue adjusting its precautionary measures to make sure the players stay safe. Their health is our priority,” Moyo said.
Bulawayo City chairperson Jerry Sibanda said his team will not take a break but will remain on high alert for the virus.
“As Bulawayo City, we are also taking necessary steps to fight against the spread of coronavirus.
“We also make sure we educate and give adequate knowledge and information to our players on coronavirus.
“Obviously we won’t be having matches but we will continue with our training in preparations for the new season.
“We will obviously take necessary precautions towards the health of the players,” said Sibanda.
Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas bemoaned the timing of the pandemic saying his charges were no longer motivated to train.
“This has come at a totally wrong time. We were ready to start the season but we have to do what everyone is doing that is to stop football and find the best way forward.
“It really came at a bad time; we had made all the preparations to start the season.
“Our preparations were good and players were raring to go. We have to put our guys on hold.
“There is no motivation for our players to train.
“We have to break for a week and we take it from there,” Antipas said.
He added: “We are always giving information to our players on measures to take on coronavirus. It’s a deadly pandemic which we might join hands with the rest of the world to fight coronavirus.”