The health ministry and the football association (CFA) decided Friday to carry out random checks at football clubs’ facilities and Covid screenings after two teams were all but knocked out by the virus.
In the past week, Nea Salamina saw 20 players and staff infected with the virus while Ethnikos had 18. A youth coach at Omonia Aradippou also tested positive.
In a meeting on Friday, officials decided to carry out regular checks at clubs’ facilities to ensure teams were following the protocol correctly.
Starting Friday, 7,000 football players across all divisions apart from division one, will be tested for the coronavirus.
In addition, 100 individuals from 20 teams – five from each — regardless whether they are players or staff, will be tested on a weekly basis, a joint statement said.
The current protocol will remain the same, but clubs were urged to be stricter in its application.
Health officials will also clarify and simplify the protocol with members of the government’s epidemiological team working on a simplified summary of the protocol to facilitate its implementation by the CFA.
Moreover, every team will have to appoint one member of their staff who will be responsible and accountable for proper application of the protocol and who will be trained in the upcoming days by health experts under the CFA’s supervision.
It was also decided that all changing rooms that did not adhere to health and safety rules will be closed. This especially applies to lower league teams.
“With these clarifications we hope to protect the health of footballers and team members in order to avoid seeing another spike in cases within clubs and for the championship to continue smoothly,” the statement said.
The league games between Nea Salamina and Ermis and between Ethnikos Achas and Anorthosis, scheduled to take place on September 26 and 27 respectively, have already been postponed to a later date, yet to be decided.
As it was already decided on Thursday, at the moment, there is no need to suspend the football league.