Lamontville Golden Arrows assistant coach Mandla Ncikazi says his club is trying to be as normal as possible in the abnormal circumstances currently engulfing the globe.

The world has come to a near standstill over the month of March, with things expected to worsen during April after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a 21-day lockdown starting from Thursday due to the coronavirus outbreak.

South Africa’s numbers bulged to around 554 today, as government took drastic measures to try and prevent the spread further. Ncikazi says everyone needs to take COVID-19 much more seriously.

Arrows are amongst a host of clubs that had been training these past few weeks, although they had been taking extra precautions in terms of being distant from each other and also sanitising regularly during their sessions.

But all that will change over the course of the next month and Ncikazi admits that the entire country will be entering unchartered territory.

Nearly 400 000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus globally, with the death toll from those cases sitting at over 17 000.

Ncikazi says Abafana Bes’thende players will all be sent home later on Tuesday.

Ncikazi is also worried about what repercussions there will be once the dust has settled after Covid-19. Many clubs, just like Arrows, do not have sponsors and rely largely on the Premier Soccer League’s monthly grant for survival.

That grant is funded by the sponsors, like Absa, while there are also benefits from money-spinning deals like the broadcasting agreement.

But with everything now set to grind to a halt, the game is facing some uncertain times. Steve  Komphela’s assistant says he is worried.


– Report by Thahir Asmal