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Devon Chafa laments Covid-19 effects

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IT’S almost a year since football was suspended in the country owing to the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19) which has left the game in a precarious position.
The last time fans had a taste of domestic action was on March 14 when Zimbabwe champions FC Platinum beat Bulawayo giants Highlanders 0-2 in a pre-season opener Castle Challenge Cup. Platinum had won the Castle Premiership while Highlanders were crowned Chibuku Super Cup champions.

And judging by how the pandemic is wreaking havoc locally; the country appears to be heading for another year of inactivity which is likely to cause deeper and far-reaching consequences for the sport. There are growing fears that most Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs could be heading for extinction if they do not adopt a more robust commercial approach.

Players alike have also not been spared from the financial challenges. The Daily News on Sunday Sports Writer Aaron Nhawu sat with Ngezi Platinum Stars’ midfield hardman Devon Chafa who gave an account of how Covid-19 is affecting not only his well-being but the league at large.

Q: Do you think football will resume this year considering the current lockdown and the increase of covid-19 cases?
A: We are surely in a difficult period as a country and also the football fraternity considering the impact that has been brought about by the pandemic to our beautiful game. I think the relevant authorities are trying their level best to have the resumption of football and hopefully this year we will surely play the game.

Q: What do you think the policy makers and relevant authorities should do in assisting football players during these difficult times?
A: This is a profession where our bread is buttered so if we don’t play we don’t earn hence there is a need to strike a balance between playing and catering for our needs because we also have families. We believe they are not leaving
any stone unturned to have the commencement of football. We can’t really comment on how best they can help because of late they have been helping in one way or the other.

Q: So how have you been surviving in this Covid-19 era since there is no football to talk about?
A: We all have certain things we do to earn a living and also be able to provide for our families besides earning from football. We are surviving though it is very difficult.

Q: Are you not contemplating quitting football and seek alternative means of survival if football does not resume this year?
A: NO. I’m not going to quit if you check in other countries where the pandemic hit hard, they are still playing the game, so we still have hope that the same will happen here; only what we should do is to have patience and probably our time will come.

Q: What are you currently doing to maintain your body and other fitness issues since all group training sessions are
currently banned?
A: I’m doing some individual sessions at home to keep myself strong.
Q: If an opportunity arises do you still have the desire to play abroad?
A: Anything can happen in life we all have a map in our own way but at last God holds the final decision if the opportunity arises I will grab it without any second thoughts. Why not because age is just a number.

Q: What advice can you give to the youngsters who have potential to shine but they are not getting an opportunity due to covid-19?
A: In life there is a season for everything .We are surely in a difficult period but giving up on their dreams is not an option. They should keep on working hard and l can assure them that one day they will enjoy the fruits of their patience, perseverance and determination.

Q: What are your best football moments in your whole career?
A: I would say winning the league titles with all the different teams that l have played for in my career and also representing my country in the different age groups is also another great milestone.

Q: When are you going to hang your boots?
A: Football has always been my life. I’m not thinking of retiring any time soon. l still have a long way to go and there are a lot of things l need to accomplish in my career.

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