No COVID-19 tests for play-offs

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Africa-PressBotswana. FRANCISTOWN: The Botswana Football Association (BFA) has said the Premiership promotion play-off between Mogoditshane Fighters and Nico United will proceed without the coronavirus (COVID-19) tests.

Fighters are from a COVID-19 red zone as cases have been rising in the Greater Gaborone. The decision to play without COVID-19 tests run contrary to international practice where players are subjected to tests before matches. Division One play-offs will also go ahead this weekend across the country without COVID-19 tests.

BFA acting chief executive officer, Thabiso Kebotsamang said the association decided to stage the playoffs without tests after thorough assessment.

He cited costs as some of the factors that led to the association being held without COVID-19 tests.

“When doing a risk assessment, we did engage authorities at the Ministry of Health who did not have a problem with us staging the matches without subjecting teams to the tests. The BFA medical committee was also engaged and did not have a problem with hosting the

matches without subjecting players to tests,” he said.

“The matches will be held under COVID-19 protocols, which will be enforced by regional associations working with the participating teams. The association will strictly monitor compliance to the set standards.”

Nico United spokesperson, Ntibi Kedikilwe said the club had wished that the BFA would see to it that tests are done in a bid to protect the players from contacting or spreading the virus.

He, however, expressed hope that the association has done a proper risk assessment and players will not be at risk of contacting or spreading the pandemic.

The winner of the two-legged clash between Fighters and Nico will be promoted to the Premiership. The first leg match will be played in Selebi-Phikwe tomorrow with the second leg scheduled for Gaborone next week Saturday.

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