Zambia football league to end early due to COVID-19 spike

Published: Jul 31, 2020, 5:56 pm IST

Lusaka: ┬áZambia’s football league will end prematurely next week due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, the country’s football governing body said on Friday.

The league resumed on July 18 after having been abruptly closed in March following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, reports Xinhua news agency.

Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) spokesperson Sydney Mungala said the organisation has decided to end the league early due to concerns raised by health authorities, adding that a recent surge in cases has put a strain on the country’s healthcare system.

“One of the major challenges has been the long delays in securing test appointments and results by most of the clubs in the league after being tested, which meant that certain matches could not be played due to the inability of clubs to produce results when called upon to do so,” he said in a release.

He added that the compliance levels by most of the clubs have not been satisfactory, despite signing up to observe the health guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health.

“Arising from the following challenges and in view of the high incidents of new COVID-19 cases, the FAZ executive has been left with no choice but to bring the league to an early closure,” he added.

The league, he said, will conclude on August 6, after all the teams have played the 27th round of matches, and the champions will then be declared for both Super Division teams and lower divisions.

Zambia has so far recorded 5,555 COVID-19 cases and 149 deaths since March.