Kudakwashe Chikwenje, Sports Reporter
LOCAL coaches have expressed concern over the coronavirus pandemic which is likely to affect the league which was scheduled to begin at the end of this month.
The Premier Soccer League had promised to release fixtures after the annual general meeting which was held on March 6.
There is, however, no clear direction in as far as the start of the season is concerned and coaches are afraid this will affect the season.
H-Metro spoke to a few coaches and below are their sentiments.
Herentals coach Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva
“The virus definitely has a big negative impact to the game, football is a contact game, large crowds always make it exciting and interesting.
“Now that the virus is on the raise it means crowds are now limited or authorities might opt matches to be played in empty stadiums to avoid spread.
“Travelling and staying to away games is going to affect clubs due to fear.”
Mutiwekuziva said suspension of games is good since it will ensure safety of people.
“Suspension of games is a good idea due to the impact of the virus and the level it is spreading.
“We are yet to have real impact of it but prevention is better than cure,” said Mutiwekuziva.
ZPC Kariba coach Godfrey Tamirepi.
“In regards to Zimbabwean football it’s going to derail the season and this is going to affect our national teams, this is a global crisis.
“This is a global pandemic which has called for gatherings to be called off to minimise the risk of spreading the virus, football draws large crowds and our players are not exceptional.
“What I think about the virus is corrective measures have to be put in place and I welcome the suspension of CHAN as football draws large crowds which promotes the spread of the pandemic.
“In regards to how it’s going to affect our players, obviously the issue of overtraining is going to affect them and fatigue will cripple in the players.
“The form and fitness level is going to drop as players won’t be training and play friendly matches,” said Tamirepi.
Genesis Mangombe of Yadah
“For a contagious disease it is difficult to predict on who is going to be affected but football is going to be affected because we have fans on the pitch who want to watch football.
“The gate takings are going to be affected, the teams are going to be affected financially because they will be no funds coming for the game
“People are scared because in South Africa the disease is there and rumours are saying the same disease is here so in that case football will be affected because gatherings will be suspended
“As for us we are affected, we are definitely affected because if the government put measures against this disease the season will be affected and as a result it will destroy our sport activities.”
Triangle coach Taurai Mangwiro
“We need to take measures so that we protect players and the people
“The government should react quickly to ensure safety of the people.
“We should place human lives above so that we can protect our people.”