Virus bites football

Virus bites football

MASERU – The Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) and its related stakeholders have suspended football in the country until the end of this month due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The outbreak has brought the whole world to a standstill and sports events across the world have been suspended while others have been cancelled.

LEFA said they are monitoring the situation nationally and internationally and they hope to resume league fixtures on April 4 if the situation allows.
Last week CAF released a statement suspending the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers and there is still no directive as to when the qualifiers will be played.

LEFA has also urged clubs to release players and suspend training sessions to combat the outbreak.
Currently, there is no official case of COVID-19 in Lesotho but there are fears after an eSwatini national tested positive to the virus in her home country this week after a recent visit to Lesotho.
LEFA’s suspension of football applies to all leagues under the auspices of the LEFA, this includes the Women’s Super League as well as the boys’ and girls’ national Under-15 leagues.
LEFA issued a statement on Tuesday saying the measures were taken in the best interests of sponsors, players, coaches, officials and fans.

“All leagues under the auspices of the Lesotho Football Association (will) be suspended for the next two weeks effective from Monday March 16th 2020 and until March 31th 2020,” the statement read.
“LEFA and the League Management Committees shall during the two weeks monitor the situation both locally and internationally before making the decision to recommence the leagues or extend the suspension based on what the developments will be (there),” LEFA said.

“All leagues shall hopefully commence during the weekend of the 4th and 5th April 2020 from where they are currently at. In the meantime, the Association and the League Management Committees advise the teams to suspend training sessions as a measure to tread on the right side of caution. And that players be encouraged to train on their own during this period,” it read.
The COVID-19 outbreak started in December last year in China and started to spread across the whole world in January.

Several European countries have already suspended their respective leagues. On Monday, South African authorities also announced the suspension of the PSL amid coronavirus fears.
COSAFA have also confirmed the postponement of the 2020 Women’s Under-17 Championship that was scheduled to be staged in Mauritius from April 17 to 26.
Symptoms COVID-19 infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says in more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand-washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

Tlalane Phahla


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