SUN SPORTS writes
POOR compliance to the agreed Covid-19 public health guidelines based on Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI) feedback are the main cause of the decision to close the league early.
According to Zambia Premier League manager Brian Mulenga, clubs were struggling to adhere to the guidelines put in place by the Ministry of Health after games were allowed to resume on 18th July 2020.
“The feedback from ZNPHI and other public health authorities who conducted surprise, snap inspections has been very negative, as can be seen from failure to manage the isolation of players and officials who tested positive.
“Other reasons include unrestricted access to camping sites and training sessions, failure to observe social distancing and lack of sanitizers and disinfectants at designated places,” Mulenga said.
He said failure to adhere to the set guidelines directly contravened health guidelines promulgated by Government and FAZ.
The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) announced that week 27 fixtures scheduled for the 5th and 6th August, 2020 will be the final fixtures of the 2019/2020 Season.
Mulenga added that the long delays in securing test appointments and results after being tested meant that certain matches could not be played due to the inability of clubs to produce results when called upon to do so.
Mulenga said certain arrangements will have to be made to ensure the league is brought to a close without any outstanding issues.
“All teams unable to fulfill fixtures for any reason will forfeit them while all Matches that have been postponed or deferred will be referred for resolution by the FAZ Disciplinary Committee expeditiously,” Mulenga said.
The 2020/2021 season will commence on October 17, 2020 with teams expected to improve adherence to Covid-19 guidelines.
The decision to end the league prematurely has automatically sent Wanderers, KYSA and Nakambala Leopards to the national division one league.
Wanderers and KYSA are 17th and 18th on the league table with 14 points respectively while Nakambala are on 17 points and would never survive the relegation battle even after winning the remaining two games which would push them to 23-points as Kansanshi Dynamos occupy 15th position with 26 points.