Government is to take up the cost of COVID-19 testing for players of national teams returning to training, Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare, the Presidential Advisor on Health, has said.
“We will be doing the mandatory testing for these national teams as FIFA has recommended and European clubs are doing,” he said.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in his 14th Address to the nation on measures to contain the COVID-19, asked the Black Maidens and the Black Princesses to resume camping and prepare for their international assignments later this year.
Dr Nsiah Asare said the decision followed a proposal by the Minister of Youth and Sports on the need to consider national teams, which had international assignments, to start training with strict adherence to all safety protocols.
He said the return matches would be played behind closed doors at venues chosen by the Ghana Football Association (GFA).
Dr Nsiah Asare said the teams would be camped under tight security as done for second cycle institutions until all return matches were played.
The Black Maidens have a FIFA U-17 World Cup qualifier against Nigeria whiles the Princesses will take on Guinea-Bissau in a 2021 FIFA U-20 World Cup qualifier in September, this year.
Meanwhile, the National Sports Authority (NSA) has cleared the Black Maidens and Princesses to go into campaign following the green light given by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
A statement signed by Prof. Peter Twumasi, Director General of the NSA urged national teams to adhere to all safety protocols as they start camping following the green light by the President.
“In line with the directions issued on July 26, 2020, by the President in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the female U-20 and U-17 national football teams have been cleared to go into their respective training camps to begin preparations towards their FIFA and CAF sanctioned international matches, which begins in September this year.
“While in training, they are expected to adhere strictly to all the protocols issued by the Government, CAF, and FIFA.
“The directive further stated that all other team sports, contact sports, and competitive sporting events remain suspended until further notice,” the statement said.
The statement urged all stakeholders to adhere to and respect the directives of the President for their own safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. –GNA