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KICK:OFF with Darious Kapembwa: Football in Dilemma

THE world of football is in a dilemma at the moment due to the coronavirus pandemic.

There is a burning desire among football stakeholders across the world to get back to the stadium, while proposing a wide range of preventive measures to respective governments in a bid to get clearance to play.

Let’s face it; the suspension of football leagues has a lot of legal and financial implications of different scales.

In Europe, for example, there is a serious urge from one side to consider cancelling the leagues for health reasons while the other side is strongly pushing for a resumption for economic reasons.

The elite European leagues fear that cancelling the league will result in serious financial losses. We are talking billions of dollars here.

The battles for league championships and avoiding relegation is one aspect that could trigger serious legal battles for leagues across the world. Teams with the hope of surviving relegation or those that are threatened with failure to qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season if the league is cancelled could seek legal redress that may throw football into further disarray.

We have already seen in France where Lyon FC has threatened court action following the decision by authorities to prematurely end Ligue 1, resulting in PSG being declared winners but Lyon couldn’t make it to the UEFA competitions instead.

Simply put, all stakeholders in football from administrators, sponsors, players and supporters are in dilemma on how to end this league, which should have ended this month in most countries – including Zambia as a matter of fact – but no, everyone is panicking.

FAZ on their part have sent a proposal to CAF, government and clubs expressing willingness to end the league on the pitch rather than the boardroom. Among other things is a proposal to play behind closed doors.

Well, looking at our health care capacity, especially to do with COVID-19 preparedness, it means FAZ themselves have to get involved in helping teams meet certain strict requirements like testing and all. And all this requires total discipline towards adherence to the set health guidelines from players, referees, officials and ball-boys. Otherwise just playing behind closed doors will not be enough.

From the numbers that we are getting, it seems the infection curve in Zambia is rising fast and therefore stadia across the country need to be properly equipped with all the necessities.

Players shouldn’t just think about bonuses, much as they need these monies. They need to remain healthy or alive to return to play next season.

Imagine Europe with all its medical facilities, testing and treatment capacity at its disposal, some players are very reluctant to get back to play in the absence of a vaccine or cure for COVID-19 disease.

We all want football back, we have desperately missed it. Journalists, bloggers, supporters, sponsors (including gamblers) all want football back but not at the expense of life.

In Christian terms, every life is sacred and must be protected at all cost and all clubs must bear that in mind as they demand to play. How many medics are you going to invest in at your club during this period? If you can’t increase the number of medical personnel at your club in view of COVID-19, you are not ready to play yet.

Let’s not put excitement or desire to win the league or play continental football ahead of life. No goal is worth a life.

The proposal from FAZ is good, but are clubs logistically ready and I mean medically ready? That is the dilemma.

Meanwhile, let’s wait to hear from FAZ and government, but let’s be ready for anything. This is life!

dariouskapembwa6@gmail.com or WhatsApp only on 0979116328

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