Zambia Cancels Football League After Covid-19 Surge

Zambia's football association, Faz, has cancelled the domestic league following a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Faz General Secretary Adrian Kashala said the league would end on 6 August by which time all teams would have played 27 rounds of matches.

The league resumed two weeks ago after it was prematurely suspended in March over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

Two sides, Forest Rangers and Napsa Stars, have reported the highest number of Covid-19 cases, with 28 and 19 respectively.

“The recent surge in numbers of Covid-19 occurrences has put a strain on the health system across the board,” Mr Kashala said in a statement.

“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."

The Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI) had also noted some lapses, the Faz statement said.

These included a failure by clubs to “manage the isolation of players and officials who had tested positive, unrestricted access to camping sites, failure to observe social distancing and lack of sanitisers and disinfectants at designated places”.

Faz has decided that the 2020/2021 season will now start on 17 October.

Zambia has so far confirmed 5,555 Covid-19 cases with 41 deaths.

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