Thirteen players and officials of Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) side, Kwara United FC of Ilorin have been said to have tested positive for the Covid-19.
According to reports, nine players and four officials were tested and confirmed positive for the virus on Monday during the mandatory Covid-19 testing ordered by the League Management Company (LMC) for teams in the topflight before resumption of the new 2020/21 NPFL season.
It was further learnt that the management of Kwara United obeyed the LMC directive and ordered the entire club’s playing personnel and coaches to take the mandatory test.
A top football stakeholder in the state confirmed it saying “It was after the tests were carried out that nine players and four officials were confirmed to have tested positive for the virus. All those who tested positive have been moved to the Sobi Isolation Centre in Ilorin for treatment,”
Another individual, a club official who spoke on condition of anonymity insisted that nobody was allowed to speak on the result of the Covid-19 tests.
“The only person who can talk is Mr Rafiu Ajakaiye, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq. He is the Spokesperson of the Covid-19 Technical Committee in the state,” says the source.
The 13 positive cases appear the first known cases in the country’s sports sector.
Meanwhile, Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare, is of the notion that no sport would return under his watch without proper testing for the virus as well as following the laid down protocol by health officials to prevent the spread of the infection.
A statement signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Sports Ministry, Mr Gabriel Aduda reads: “We are happy that the ban on non-contact sports has been lifted after so many months of inactivity due to the Covid-19 scourge. The Sports Ministry is not oblivious of the challenges that would be encountered in organising football matches.
“We cannot take anything for granted. As a way of safeguarding the lives of our players, coaches, officials and fans, approval must be sought and given before any game is played. The Ministry would ensure that all protocols and guidelines are obeyed as directed by PTF and NCDC.”
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