COVID-19 COSAFA AfriCAN: Botswana referee Bondo calls on fans to play their part

Botswana referee Joshua Bondo has risen to become one of the leading match officials on the African continent, and like everyone else associated with the game, he is eager to see football back on the pitch.

But that can only happen once conditions allow and in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic, Bondo has some wise words for Batswana and all fans around the COSAFA region.

“As the world is facing this hard time due to COVID-19, I urge you all to wash your hands with soap and water, maintain social distancing, and always cover your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

“If you have a fever, a dry cough, difficulty with breathing or are experiencing some pain in your body, please seek medical care early and final the directions of your local health authority. Stay safe, stay home!”

Bondo has been a leading figure in COSAFA Cup competitions for some time, but has also risen on the continental stage and has been involved in Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup qualifiers.

He also took charge of the massive group stage clash between Senegal and Algeria at the 2017 Nations Cup finals, and the semifinal of the CAF Champions League in 2019 when Wydad Casablanca hosted Mamelodi Sundowns.

He was again in the middle during the 2019 Afcon finals in Egypt, including the group stage clash between Tunisia and Mali, and the second round match-up between Nigeria and holders Cameroon.

You can watch Bondo’s video message to fans here!

Meanwhile, supporters in all COSAFA nations are urged to follow the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which include:

Wash your hands frequently: Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

Maintain social distancing: Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth: Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Practice respiratory hygiene: Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early: Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.