FAZ President Andrew Kamanga has disclosed that his executive committee will meet on Thursday to review the restart of the season.
It hasn’t been plain sailing since the 2019/2020 season restarted on July 18 with one cancelled match after Forest Rangers reportedly had 28 Covid19 positive cases before their rescheduled home date against Zanaco in Ndola.
Thereafter, a litany of delayed Covid-19 results hit some matches while Napsa Stars on July 29 disclosed that they have 15 players and four staff in quarantine.
“I think we had a period of about three weeks and guidelines were given when we met all the clubs from the National Division One and Super League,” Kamanga said.
“We had two sets of meetings, one in Lusaka, and the other on the Copperbelt, with the help of the Ministry of Health officials who took the lead in what was expected in terms of the health protocols.
“Of course, when we started the league two weeks ago we had a few challenges and the underlining issue is very simple, it is to do with testing and getting the results because one of the requirement was that players would undergo mandatory testing together with officials so that has been happening.
“Now regrettably, the flow of results has been a bit slow, not because the Ministry didn’t want, but simply because of the situation at hand because suddenly we have got a high incident of Covid-19 the numbers have been going up.
“Last week, the Minister of Sport called us to consult further on how we were looking at what was going on and I think even this week we are continuing to monitor the situation.
“We are going to have an executive committee meeting on Thursday, we will make a report, and we will look at where we are and ultimately decisions will be made in the best interest of the footballers themselves and also taking into account what is obtaining.
“But that said, I think the challenge is still that the Ministry of Health has been overwhelmed because of the high incidence of cases to be able to give us results in time.
“As of last week, we even proposed to the Ministry of Sport that maybe the Football Association of Zambia should take a lead and ensure that the management of the testing and the obtaining of results sort of seats within our control so that ultimately we have enough time to make decisions.
“And I think this is where it was resolved with the help of both Ministry of Sport and Ministry of Health official that we should at the barest minimum, test are done at least 72 hours before a fixture and results availed 48 hours before a fixture so that when you have got a result at that point, you should be able to make a decision.
“From where we stand, we are actively monitoring what is going on. We are getting as much information, and should need be, we should inform the nation on how we shall proceed with the completion of the league whether we continue on this path.
“If it becomes unattainable, a decision will be made either to stop the league or declare it null and void but that is a decision that will be made by the executive.”