Vodacom Premier League players to be tested for Covid-19 infection

Tuesday May 12 2020


By Majuto Omary

Dar es Salaam. All players who feature in the Vodacom Premier League are required to undergo medical examination to establish whether or not they have contracted the coronavirus.
This has been said by the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Tanzania Premier League Board (TPLB), Almassy Kasongo in an exclusive interview with The Citizen.
Kasongo said one of the proposals submitted to the government by TPLB is to examine the healthstatus of the players and match officials before resumption of league matches in mid-June this year as tentatively set.
Stressing that the proposed medical testing is considered important for the safety of the players and stakeholders, Kasongo said any person who tests contagion-positive would not be allowed to feature in the league if and when it resumes.
“Players or match officials who are found to have been infected would be treated like any other people found with the Covid-19 contagion.”Kasongo said, adding that the board is only waiting for the government state-ment on sports resumption before releasing the procedures to be fol-lowed.
Medical testing is also to be done in Spain, England, Germany and Italy, all of whom have announced dates on which their Premier League matches would resume.
Most sporting events and public gatherings, as well as formal education institutions were sus-pended on March 17 this year by the government to minimize chances of coronavirus contagion.

Sports players turned to individual training sessions, mostly using spe-cial training programmes given to them by their technical bench offi-cials.

 The exercise hotted-up in Dar es Salaam recently when players were found training along the Indian Ocean beach, while others did workouts at their homes or nearby open grounds.

Players perked up expect-antly by President John Magufuli who said he was considering resump-tion of sports activities after a seven-week break on the back of the coronavirus pandemic.

 President Magufuli said this at a ceremony to swear into Office the newly-appointed Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister, Mwigulu Nchemba. In his speech, Dr Magufuli said he would seek counsel from his close aides on the matter before taking a final decision.

 “I propose that we restart our league matches, but people must watch (the matches) on television. I am only waiting for experts to advise me accordingly on the matter,” the president said in a speech that was broadcast live from his Chato home.

 Kasongo also said they have pro-posed that the league be played in stadia empty of spectators except for a few people, including journalists.

 In addition, they pledged to adhere in letter and spirit to healthcare direc-tives from the authorities.