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BFA embraces CAF’s decision on COVID tests

MQONDISI DUBE
Test issues: COVID-19 test results delayed the start of Zebras tie against Zimbabwe last month PIC: BFA
The Botswana Football Association (BFA) says continental body, CAF’s decision to appoint an independent structure to conduct coronavirus (COVID-19) tests, is a progressive move.

There has been controversy around COVID-19 testing, with concerns, it is used as a weapon by host teams. Hosts are allowed to conduct COVID-19 tests on visiting teams, with complaints results are ‘cooked’ to disadvantage opponents. Even the BFA has not been sparred following the recent encounter against Zimbabwe in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Zimbabwe arrived late and only conducted COVID-19 tests on the day of the match. The release of the results delayed, which led to a late kick-off, amid reports in the Zimbabwe media that the hosts could use underhand tactics in a bid to win. However, the results cleared all the visiting players. Across the border, Orlando Pirates stands accused of using the virus as a weapon against Libyan side, Al Ahli

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Benghazi. The visitors had six players out after they tested positive. However, the players then tested negative when they were tested on arrival back home. The Libyan team has complained to CAF challenging their positive results were false. BFA marketing and public relations officer, Tumo Mpatane said the association supports any measures that will take football forward. “As BFA, we embrace fair play as part of the game. If CAF feels this is the best route, we support the decision. We don’t support where COVID[-19] determines outcomes or ruins football. COVID should not be used as a trap,” Mpatane said.

CAF recently said it will entrust the responsibility of COVID-19 testing to an independent body. However, that only becomes effective during next year’s AFCON qualifiers.



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