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There’s life after virus, plan for it

Sunday May 24 2020
By PHILIP ONYANGO

More than two months since the cancellation of major sporting events owing to the coronavirus pandemic, some countries have started loosening lockdown measures.

The German Bundesliga has resumed while other major football leagues have shown hope of restarting next month. South Korea’s K-League set the pace on May 8. But goal celebrations, handshakes, talking and hugging was banned during matches.

The English Premier League also announced last week that footballers returning to training will have to abide by a strict set of rules.

Social distancing is emphasised, disinfection of playing surfaces including corner flags, cones, goalposts and balls is recommended after every training session.

In Kenya, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) suspended all activities following the confirmation of the first Covid-19 case in the country on March 13.

Sadly, the coronavirus pandemic means we live in a time of force majeure - circumstances that are beyond the control of the public - are impacting heavily on our lives.

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As such, it's vital that we alter our behaviour and dial down the "I want it, thus I'll do it/go get it" impulse that dominates many societies across the world.

Some clubs, I fear, will get very close to bankruptcy if the calendar does not resume by late spring or early summer. The loss of revenue is enormous, unplanned and mostly uninsured.

Each club, no matter how small, involves people who could be employees, voluntary staff, part-time workers or fans who are being impacted negatively.

It is for this reason that I think planning is very important before the next sporting season. Bandari Football Club had two stellar seasons in the 2016/2018 and 2018/2019, defying all odds to beat more seasoned and well-oiled opponents.

My million-dollar question is whether it has a sound plan to maintain the club’s competitiveness. There will be football and other sports activities after the virus.

It remains to be seen if Bandari has plans for the future. Have we made contact with scouts for potential signings? Have we come up with a list of players to off load and replace with the new recruits? Ideally, that is what we call planning.

Clubs across the globe are doing business, Covid-19 notwithstanding. It is imperative that we also come up with a sound plan for the future.

South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns have renewed the contract of their mercurial coach Pitso Mosimane, meaning they are planning for life after coronavirus, so should we.

Bandari should not rest on its laurels.

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