July 31, 2020 / 7:53 AM / 8 days ago

Zambia season to end as clubs flout COVID-19 protocols

(Reuters) - Zambia’s football association (FAZ) said it will end its domestic season on Aug. 6, just weeks after it restarted, due to clubs failing to adhere to COVID-19 protocols.

FAZ had hoped to complete the Super League season following its resumption on July 18 but said on Friday only two more rounds are to be played before champions are declared with all teams having played 27 of their 34 scheduled matches.

Any teams unable to fulfil their remaining fixtures would forfeit the points.

“Unfortunately, despite signing up to observe the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, the compliance levels by most of the clubs have not been satisfactory,” FAZ said in a statement.

“Among the breaches noted were failure to manage the isolation of players and officials who tested positive, ... failure to observe social distancing and lack of sanitizers and disinfectants at designated places.”

FAZ have set a date of Oct. 17 to start the 2020-21 season, by which time it hopes to have more rigid processes in place.

The decision comes days after Algeria said it would end its season, with CR Belouizdad declared champions and no relegation.

South Africa has unveiled plans to complete its league campaign in bio-secure “bubbles” in Johannesburg and Pretoria, with games set to resume on Aug. 11 and matches taking place almost every day until the Sept. 5 finish.

Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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