TNM Super League teams are taking no chances to keep their players and officials safe from the coronavirus pandemic as
they continue preparing for the 2020 season.
The new season was due to kick off last weekend but President Peter Mutharika’s announcement on Friday evening that the government had stopped all gatherings of more than 100 people saw games being called off.
The development effectively halted all competitions under Football Association of Malawi’s (Fam) calendar.
The association advised all teams that intended to continue training to strictly observe measures aimed at keeping their players, fans and officials safe at all times.
A visit to Kamuzu Stadium on Tuesday confirmed that teams are taking Fam’s instruction seriously.
Blantyre giants Be Forward Wanderers, who train at the soccer mecca, have taken the lead by placing a water bucket and a bottle of sanitiser by the stadium’s perimeter fence entrance where players and officials wash hands before and after training.
Wanderers General Secretary, Victor Maunde, said they are not leaving any stone unturned in their quest to protect their players from contracting coronavirus.
“We are also checking body temperatures of our team members to detect any sign and symptom of coronavirus. We do this before and after every training session to make sure that all our players and officials are healthy and fit.
“We agreed to continue training so that our players are ready for the new season. We do not know when the suspension will be lifted and the best we can do is to keep preparing. So we are fully complying with whatever needs to be done to keep the team safe from coronavirus,” Maunde said.
Another team that trains at Kamuzu Stadium, Ntopwa, is also religiously following preventive measures outlined by health authorities.
Ntopwa Technical Director and owner, Isaac ‘Jomo’ Osman, said they had a medical doctor who was guiding them on measures for preventing contracting coronavirus.
I am personally leading by example as I come for training. I always wash my hands with sanitiser. The same applies to my players and technical panel members. The doctor is always here to monitor our players and all is well,” Osman said.
Other giants Silver Strikers and Nyasa Big Bullets also told Times that they are following all precautionary measures as directed by the government.
Malawi is yet to register any case of coronavirus but health officials are advising stakeholders in various sectors to institute the necessary precautionary measures.
The pandemic has forced several countries to suspend sports activities in a bid to bring the situation under control.
Some local teams, such as Blue Eagles and Civo Service United, are reported to have suspended training as they await lifting of the suspension.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.