The resumption of the national football team's activities is gradually becoming a reality as the medical committee of the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yesterday completed their health guidelines in light of FIFA guidelines to resume football activities ahead of October's World Cup Qualifiers.
The medical committee's deputy chairman, Dr Ali Emran, yesterday submitted the guidelines to ensure a safe training camp for the national booters, who are supposed to start preparations in late August for the tie against Afghanistan to be held on October 8.
"If we can control the negative impacts around us and the players and officials obey instructions such as wearing masks, rinsing hands with soap, and social distancing norms and don't loiter in crowded places, then it is possible to have a Covid-19 free environment," Dr Emran told The Daily Star yesterday.
Apart from testing all footballers, coaches, officials and support staff, the medical committee has also recommended to even test anyone from catering services and stadium and dormitory staff.
"The medical committee wants the national team to stay in a coronavirus-free environment and to ensure that environment, each of footballers, coaches, officials and support staff must be tested. Besides, we also need to test anyone from catering services, and the staff of the stadium and dormitory, where footballers will train and stay during the training camp," Emran, who is also an AFC Elite Panel medical officer, added. He emphasised the need to test drivers and assistants of the vehicles which will carry footballers.
"There is no opportunity to resume training with any infected booters or any infected person surrounding the national team," Emran said, adding that they would formulate some guidelines for the training camp in line with FIFA recommendations after the first-phase of testing.
He also informed that FIFA had a series of meeting with six confederations, medical officials and the World Health Organisation before finalising its guidelines. It also clearly stated that the associations must consider the pandemic and available health-service facilities of their own countries before formulating their own guidelines.
"FIFA guidelines also recommended not to during a lockdown and there is no need to restart football if there is any possibility of spreading the coronavirus," Emran said.
He also suggested testing the players in groups instead of testing the whole team together at least 72 hours before the start of the training camp and keeping them isolated before moving to the place where the team will have their training camp.
Tests could be arranged at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University and reports could be delivered within the day if the BFF wants, he added. Finally, the medical committee suggested that anyone who shows symptoms must inform authorities concerned.