GFA president wants system in place for COVID-19 testing among footballers

first_img– says GFF, MOPH and GFA should discuss possible blueprint  By Clifton Ross LOCAL soccer players, much like their international counterparts, remain at risk of contracting COVID-19 once the window of live sports fully opens up and Georgetown Football Association (GFA) president Otis James is advocating for special system to be put in place to test Guyanese footballers.Chronicle Sport caught up with the GFA head recently and, as part of his future endeavors for the local soccer community, he outlined blueprints of a strong system which should be set up across the country to help monitor, urgently treat and tend to the over well-being of their soccer players; should someone contract COVID-19.“I think we should be looking at testing kits for players and we should have a team in place in order to facilitate the system. The GFF (Guyana Football Federation) should come together along with the Ministry of Public Health and the GFA so we can put something in place for our players safety”, said James.Removing his executive cap, replacing it with that of his old arbitrator’s hat, the 12-year international veteran referee said that he was looking at future safety measures from an international perspective, having been on the road and getting advice from mates in similar positions overseas.The GFA boss also strongly advocated for trained experts to further work with the medical team in the soccer fraternity, something, he said, will help to better equip the staff with the hands-on experience to deal with persons within the football community specifically, should homeopathic issues arise.“I was a former international referee, so I keep in touch with other old comrades who are still heavily involved in football and these are some of [the]things we have spoken about. I hope the GFF can help to put that in place for us to fight the spread because we need systems set up in and out of town for our players with medical coaches and experts who can teach what is required of them”, said James.Shifting gears to the state of things venue-wise, the GFA head explained that they were keeping track of what has been going on around their facilities such as National Service and Police grounds; during the ongoing lockdown.“The Police Force Ground is now cutting, Georgetown Football Club (GFC) is going through major rehabilitations and the work is phenomenal thus far. We have been keeping in contact with groundsmen, we maintain corporation with the various ground staff in case they need help”. James pointed out.With August being a possible return date for football action, James said the GFA will use the month of July to further prepare for a possible return to live sports and as such will utilize the month in order to streamline things with sponsors, players and stakeholders of football.“July we could clear the pitch and check in with sponsors and shareholders because Covid-19 hit us hard; we had to do some cutting, so we are seeing a little recession. So far we have gotten feedback from almost 16 clubs who keep asking when we can get back out on the field. Every day that question will be asked, we all want to play but we have to be watchful because one bad orange can spoil the entire bunch”, James ended.last_img read more