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Players in race against time to beat Covid

2021-01-07  Maurice Kambukwe

Players in race against time to beat Covid

A number of Brave Warriors players are racing against time to recover from Covid-19 and return to the field to prepare for the upcoming African Nations Championship. 

The preparations for the football tournament hit a snag last week after several players tested positive for Covid-19. 
Namibia Football Association (NFA) president Ranga Haikali said the team was looking forward to getting their Covid-19 test results today, while he is confident the entire team would be discharged from quarantine. 

Ten players and a technical staff member had tested positive for the novel coronavirus on 29 December. 
The NFA immediately activated the relevant protocols that include isolation and calling off group activities temporarily. 
Earlier this week, NFA secretary general Franco Cosmos said that the team would go through another test ahead of their departure to Cameroon.  

In an interview yesterday with New Era Sport, Haikali said the team had done another test, which they are waiting on their results to be released today. 

“We did another Covid-19 test that we are waiting for the results to come out today or tomorrow. I am not worried as for now – because through the observation, we cannot see any significant signs of the virus so I am confident the team will be discharged out of isolation,” he said. 
Last week, Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) came face-to-face with the realities of the global pandemic after 14 of their members of the squad camp, including nine players and five members of the technical staff, tested positive for Covid-19, which also led to the immediate suspension of all training sessions. 

An increase in the number of Covid-19 cases globally has also sparked a debate whether the tournament should be postponed to later this year, which saw ZIFA writes to the Confederation of African Football in a plea to postpone the tournament. 
Haikali also acknowledged the rise in new infections attributes to the second Covid-19 wave. However, he urged the respective countries to put the necessary measures in place to help curb the further spread of the virus. 

“We understand that the safety of our players is our number one priority, but for how long will this tournament be postponed? Remember, last year, the tournament was still postponed due to the same problem. I think we should just find a way to handle things with care to ensure players are not affected,” Haikali said. 

Namibia has been drawn in Group D at the finals alongside Guinea, Tanzania and Zambia.  Their first match is against Guinea on 19 January.

2021-01-07  Maurice Kambukwe

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