COVID-19 COSAFA AfriCAN: Zebras’ coach Amrouche ready for action post coronavirus

National team coach Adel Amrouche has thanked the people of Botswana for an exceptional adherence to the measures put in place by the landlocked country’s health departments in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

He said Batswana are on the right track and are doing well by adhering to the COVID-19 mitigation protocols set by the government to combat the spread of the pandemic during lockdown.

Amrouche was, however, fast to shift to his primary mandate as the national team coach to remind his players of the task ahead post the lockdown in Botswana.

He is eager to redeem the chances of the Zebras in qualifying for regional and continental competitions respectively. The last time Zebras qualified for a continental showpiece was their maiden Africa Cup of Nations finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon in 2012 under Stanley Tshosane.

As Botswana draws towards the return of football and other sporting activities, Amrouche has instructed his players to resume training at their respective homes.

Furthermore, from Monday the Ministry of Youth Employment, Sports and Culture Development (MYSC) has given the green light to individual and non-contact sports, and for the reopening of gym facilities.

“I want to take time to speak to my players to resume training  because we have an objective and aim, the 2021 AFCON qualification,” Amrouche said. “And this message is for both local and international based players. I am sure that with obligation and determination, we can achieve our aim.

“There will be no excuse about coronavirus, they must find space in their homesteads, they must act professionally to achieve our mandate and importantly keep health guidelines in check.”

For his part, Zebras captain and SuperSport United defender Thatayaone Ditlhokwe said as professionals it will be helpful to study training programs that enable each player to train individually.

He said even under the stressful circumstances the world finds itself in, when football returns there will be no excuses for players not to deliver.

“Although there is no motivation when training alone, we must focus on the goal we want to achieve,” he said. “We must have training programs to keep us going.

“As the captain, I believe this generation of players have the abilities to achieve set goals by the football association. So I assure you all the players shall get back to normal.

Botswana has had 25 positive cases of coronavirus, with one fatality and 17 recoveries from 13,290 tests conducted so far.

Check out the video from Amrouche and Ditlhokwe here!

Supporters in all COSAFA nations are desperate for football to return, and 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.

By Moagi Madisa