MUKWIMA CHILALA writes
PROFESSIONAL football in Zambia makes it’s return today at Ndola’s Levy Mwanawasa stadium but will be played to empty stands in line with Covid-19 public health guidelines and some new rules of play.
The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) Referees Desk clarified that Zambia has opted to adopt only a few of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) proposed changes upon the resumption of the league.
Bnda has said that the changes made will not be applied whoesomely.
Banda said that FIFA amended certain laws of the game to accommodate a fair playing ground to teams as they return to the field of play during this period of the pandemic.
He noted that after going through the amendments, his office decided that it was not all the changes that will be adopted by themselves but only the one affecting the number of substitutes.
He said that teams will be allowed a maximum of five substitutions which was a deviation from the conventional three that allowed before the Covid-19 crisis.
He, however, noted that to avoid disruption to the game each team will only have three opportunities to make and that Substitutions may also be made at half time.
Banda explained that un-used substitutions and opportunities will be carried forward into extra time.
He adds that where competition rules allow an additional substitution in extra time, teams will each have one additional substitution opportunity.
The referees manager noted that substitutions may also be made before the start of extra time and at half time in each extra time.
And Banda says referees will work closely with the ministry of health staff and stadium personnel in implementing the provided guidelines.
He said that the seating arrangements of the technical benches should be adjusted to allow maintaining the one metre space rule,” he said.
The Super and National Division One league resumes today after a month covid-19 induced break. Today, Kitwe United will take on Police College in a lunch time kick-off while Forest Rangers host Zanaco FC in a 15:00 kick-off at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
Both games will be played behind closed doors with SuperSport beaming the matches live. Tomorrow, Zesco United faces Kansanshi Dynamos in a 13:00 hours kick-off while Buildcon will host Power Dynamos at 15:00 hours.