The Sunday Mail
HAVING gone for almost two years without football, the Northern Region Division One League’s administrators are not leaving anything to chance in their bid to adhere to Covid-19 protocols ahead of the anticipated return of the game.
Compliance officers from all the region’s teams attended a training session conducted in Harare yesterday.
It was facilitated by renowned sports medicine expert and Warriors doctor Nick Munyonga and national safety and security officer Emmanuel Mutunami.
The compliance officers are now expected to ensure strict adherence to recommended health protocols at their respective clubs.
Northern Region Division One secretary Sweeney Mushonga feels the second-tier league has made considerable steps towards ensuring a safe return of football.
“After the lockdown, there have been so many developments in football, so for us to position ourselves for the resumption of football, we need to be seen to be doing something and also emulate what other football associations are doing,” said Mushonga.
“This is a new era which has come with new developments. We have now seen the emergence of compliance officers at our stadiums; we now see the emergence of health implementation officers and we are also now seeing the use of stewards.
“So for us to be in a position to bridge this gap, we need to train our people so that they come up to speed with new developments.”
The Sports and Recreation Commission is yet to give the greenlight for the return of Division One football but they have reiterated the need for observance of health guidelines. “There is no way we can proceed without us training so that we have the necessary skills to enable us to do our part to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“Coronavirus is here with us so we need to brace ourselves for these challenging times.
“We have combined two training programmes, safety and security and another presentation was done on the health side. All this is meant to bring our officers up to speed. We also want to standardise the manner that we do things,” he said.
“We don’t want a scenario where clubs end up doing as they wish. As the leadership, we are saying people have to be trained so that there is a standard way in which we do things.”
He said in the event of challenges, administrators will know full well that they have been trained to resolve them.
Compliance officers, he added, have to understand their roles and responsibilities before, during and after games.
They will also train players, club officials and the technical department on Covid-19 protocols.