The CAF Medical Committee is working hard to facilitate the football resumption in the best conditions. Dr Yacine Zerguini, Vice President of the said committee, reviews the CAF health protocol in the COVID-19 era, and makes recommendations for the success of Total CHAN, Cameroon 2020.
What is your assessment of the health protocol put in place since the resumption of CAF competitions?
The Health Protocol relating to international matches put in place by FIFA and CAF is the culmination of a long process of return to play. Once the advent shock of this pandemic had passed, CAF and all the Confederations within FIFA reacted by suspending activities to protect the players of the game and the whole Football family.
This moment of total halt was used to better understand the situation and quickly establish conduct guides, and then binding procedures for the return to play. Being a member of the FIFA COVID Committee, and responsible for CAF COVID Committee, I had the privilege of being an active witness at the international and, above all, continental level. Responsibility for managing the pandemic and its impact on African football world was entrusted to our Medical Committee by President Ahmad and members of the Executive Committee. A heavy responsibility that we were keen to assume with the support of the administration.
The recovery was made first by the Club competitions (2019-20 Total CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup), which had to be finalized in Morocco and Egypt. It was a first edifying experience that allowed us to refine our strategy with respect to all the other competitions that followed. It is not only to design a health protocol, but we must also provide ourselves with the human and material resources to implement it. Standards and procedures must also be established and strictly adhered to, while respecting the sovereign national health laws, on the sites of the matches, which are binding.