THE MTN/Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) super league will be decided on the pitch with champions crowned on the basis of having played and won matches, association acting spokesperson Sydney Mungala has said.
Mungala told Goal Diggers in an interview, Tuesday, that because the COVID-19 threat in Zambia is not as bad as it is in other countries, the association does not find a reason why the remaining matches could not be played.
He said FAZ was currently monitoring the situation and is waiting for the government to issue new directives before a concrete decision could be arrived at, but that the association is however desirous that the remaining matches could be played.
“I think first let me clarify to begin with that there is some kind of situation that people [at football House] are monitoring and its happening elsewhere. And you know the situation in the English Premier league for example, where there is a debate on whether Liverpool FC should be crowned champions. So, there is a sustained situation here and the debate here is almost the same, you can actually domesticate what is transpiring in the English Premier league to our situation here. But I think we need to make it clear that these situations are on a country by country basis,” Mungala said.
“So, you have to appreciate that the threat here is not as bad as it has been elsewhere, especially in Europe for example. And right now, what we can say is that we will adhere to the 14 days window that has been given that probably we slow down on public gathering and on everything else as directed by government in the country. So, once they review that 14 days window, I think we will wait to hear what will be acceptable in terms of holding public events, on whether they can be held or not.”
He said among the various options currently available on the way forward included playing indoors.
Mungala, however, said the association was optimistic that at the current rate, the pandemic would be contained with remaining matches played smoothly.
“But even then, if it really has to boil down to a situation where we have to play games in closed doors because of this Covid-19, I think if it gets to that, it’s an option we will implore. But I don’t think it has gotten to a level where we should be thinking of concluding the league prematurely. I think the desire is to ensure that the games are played and whoever is crowned champion is crowned champion on the basis of having played and won matches,” said Mungala.
“So, in any case, we have list some weeks, and we are hoping that at least by the end of April or early May, we should have a clearer indication because our league was supposed to end in May/June, according to the new calendar. But everything else in the world has been shifted so we should be able to come up with a plan that will ensure that the league finishes in the best possible way which to us is actually playing on the pitch…So, that’s basically the scenario, I think we haven’t yet gotten to a situation where we have to hand over the title without playing the remainder of the matches like the situation in European countries.”