Mamelodi Sundowns FC Doctor Not Surprised By Increased COVID-19 In South African League
Mamelodi Sundowns team doctor Carl Tabane says he expects more Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs to confirm new cases of coronavirus, noting that he was not surprised with the increase positive cases.
Kaizer Chiefs, Bloemfontein Celtic, Stellenbosch FC and Orlando Pirates are the four PSL clubs which have confirmed Covid-19 cases in their camps thus far.
Tabane explained that he was not surprised by the increasing number of PSL players who are testing positive for the deadly virus which has led to the suspension of the current season since last March.
“It was not going to be Kaizer Chiefs alone. Many clubs and players are going to be affected. The whole country is feeling the pandemic,” Tabane said on Daily Sun.
“So, I am not surprised about the numbers increasing because players do not live alone. They have family members and they go to the shops just like you and me.”
Pirates midfelder Ben Motshwari became the first PSL player to contract Covid-19, but he has since recovered, while Celtic recently revealed that midfielder Given Mashikinya has tested positive for coronavirus.
Three Stellenbosch staff members have contracted the virus and Chiefs confirmed two cases within their squad, but they have not disclosed the names of the players.
The government has given the PSL the go-ahead to resume the suspended season.
PSL chairman Irvin Khoza has disclosed that a national camp based in one province will conclude the campaign and clubs are expected to follow all the required safety measures.
“We developed a medical protocol for the admin offices and also for the training facilities. Everyone [players and officials] at the club has gone through it,” Tabane said.
“We’ve had inputs from health officials in terms of all the club’s training fields. Training will be staggered, with individual training or in small groups. We want to put the players at ease and to comply with government regulations.
“If we receive players who are positive with Covid-19 when they come back, we will know exactly how to react and to deal with everything.”
Tabane is not concerned about the fitness levels of the players after a three-month lay-off with Fifa having proposed that teams are able to make up to five substitutions to help players cope with fixture congestion.
“The fitness may not be what we want, but no club can say they have reached a maximum fitness level. Inactivity can lead to poor performance and to some extent, increase the risk of injuries,” he explained.
“Fifa is helping with the five substitution rule and that would be assist clubs in great deal. That’s where depth in the team will come handy.
“We do not have a lot of casualties in our list except for Thapelo Morena and Mauricio Affonso who are recovering beautifully.”