Bio bubble season poser: Zifa still to make a call

25 Sep, 2020 - 08:09 0 Views
Bio bubble season poser: Zifa still to make a call


Raymond Jaravaza
ZIFA is yet to make a decision on a proposal to resume football in a safe environment by adopting a “bio-bubble season”, similar to a concept tried and tested in South Africa, Europe and the United States.

The “bio-bubble season” is part of a raft of proposals made by the Sports Ministry for interrogation by Zifa as the custodians of local football for the possible safe return of football in the mid of a coronavirus pandemic.

If adopted, the “bio-bubble season” could see the resumption of the game in a mini-league format with four venues — Bulawayo, Harare, Mutare and Zvishavane — having been proposed for the 18 PSL sides.

As the term suggests, a bio-bubble is a secure sanitised area sealed from the outside world and only accessible to an approved set of people.

The people themselves will have next to no physical contact with the outside world to reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus.

“Such decisions can only be made by the Zifa board and at the moment no such decision has been made with regards to the bio-bubble season issue you are inquiring about. We will advise at the appropriate time,” said Zifa spokesman Xolisani Gwesela.

Popularised by the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the United States, the bio-bubble concept gripped the world’s attention when 22 basketball teams, who were still in play-off contention, were brought to Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Each team could bring 37 people including 17 players, coaches and support staff and every member of the team had to self-isolate in their hotel rooms for two days until they got two negative Covid-19 tests.

In the event a member of any team tested positive during their stay in the bio-bubble, they would have to go through the entire process all over again.

If adopted in Zimbabwe, the bio-bubble concept could prove costly for the already financially limping football clubs.

In addition to footing the costs of regular Covid-19 tests, which gobble around US$65 per person for each polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, clubs would have to accommodate and feed their squads for the duration of the mini-league season.

Each club would need to get at least 30 players and officials tested, notwithstanding the usual camping allowances, winning bonuses and monthly salaries for the players and coaches.

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