Wisła Płock informed about the coronavirus in her football player and the suspension of preparations for the season. On Tuesday, a case of infection was revealed in Lechia Gdańsk. “After the final round of last season, the clubs were left to deal with COVID-19 issues,” Tomasz Marzec, president of Wisła Płock, said in an interview with Przegląd Sportowy. He explained that the infection of a football player who spent a holiday by the Polish sea was tested by the club itself at his own expense. The CEO complained in an interview that no instructions were sent to the clubs about holidays, a list of countries that are better not to go to.
“Why the assumption that we have to lead clubs in the hand, even during a competition break?”
– And what would this list do in this situation? After all, we are talking about an infection on the Polish Sea. Why did the clubs need some extra reminders? After all, no one has interrupted COVID in Poland or precautionary measures. We sent out the competition rules two weeks ago and it is not possible to loosen the restrictions. Shall we tell football players how to behave on holiday? Should we tell the doctor that when he does the test you have to wait for the results? If they had waited in Wisła, they would have a football player in isolation today, not six who have had time to contact him – we hear in Ekstraklasa SA.
– It is very good that the club tested itself. So the procedures are known to him. Each PZPN employee who returned to the office after a period of teleworking was examined and PZPN paid for these tests. Normal, obvious thing. In fact, the clubs could still examine their players, they know all the procedures, they would give themselves a chance to catch the first symptoms – you can hear them in the relationship.
And a member of the medical team at the Polish Football Association says: – Why the assumption in the clubs that we have them even during the break between the seasons to lead them by the hand? If the medical team told the clubs: do not let the players go on vacation, would they listen to us? Apparently not. If we told football players to wear masks on vacation, would they listen? After all, we have often heard that we were surprised that some recommendations were exaggerated. At the end of last season, some clubs did not even want to do health examinations, they ignored it, did not send much. One club did not like the fact that there were not enough photojournalists allowed near the pitch, another took a person who should be quarantined for a trip to the Polish Cup final. Everyone thought that the coronavirus in Poland was over. Now be awake and look for the culprits. Maybe it was enough for the club doctor to call us? – says a member of the medical team.
PZPN no longer wants to pay for tests for Ekstraklasa clubs
Everyone has their reasons and regrets. We managed to finish last season without infection among the players, the games were saved, the money from the contracts was paid, the fans returned to the stands. It was mobilization, a special working group was set up to develop procedures, PZPN paid for the tests. Everyone thought that this fight won, it is still far from the next, it is possible to deviate. And before the departure, it was not loud and clear what the procedures for resuming the season would look like.
In Ekstraklasa and PZPN, they say that it did not have to happen, because nothing was interrupted. However, there will be changes: as the clubs received money for the season ended to the end and their financial situation is much better than after the first attack on the coronavirus, PZPN does not intend to fund the tests further, especially for Ekstraklasa clubs (for tests such as allows them to end the season in Ekstraklasa, me and In the second league he paid a total of 1.7 million PLN). There was also no plan to coordinate the players ‘and staffs’ self-isolation before training resumed, as there is not enough time for this during the summer break.
– Clubs should have heard that a month ago. Of course, they could have asked themselves. But no one wanted to lean out here. Because if someone takes on the role that the leader sets the tone: will the Polish Football Association, or Ekstraklasa, or clubs, he will hear immediately: well, will you cover the cost of all these tests? – says a member of the medical team.
And another adds: – Our clubs will play in European cups in a moment. And there, no one will discuss who will cover the costs of the tests. UEFA asks you to test, it pays you bonuses for marketing, you do tests and do not discuss, you have to be ready for the match. I do not know why it should be different in Ekstraklasa. You want TV rights and you still think someone has to sponsor you so you can fight for that money?
In European copper, tests before flight and landing, walkovers. And there are no guidelines for the preparations for the season
In UEFA’s coronavirus instructions prepared for participants in European Cups and Intergovernmental Games (Dr. Piotr Żmijewski from Legia Lab was among the narrow group of experts invited to work on these instructions), there is an obligation to test before departure for each match and immediately upon arrival at the arena. UEFA specifies the type of test and selects a trusted research contractor. Players and employees will present the test results when they enter the arena, those who do not have a negative result certificate will not enter. But even under this very strict regime, the preparation phase is not included at all. It is even emphasized.
“The UEFA protocol does not regulate any problems related to medical or operational requirements for the teams’ return to training,” reads a dozen-long handbook describing the requirements for testing, travel to matches, accommodation and match organization. UEFA leaves the issue of preparations for the European competition “to the competence of the national football authorities, national associations and leagues in cooperation with the local authorities concerned”. However, he recommends that the first screening tests be done 10-14 days before the first match in the cups.
UEFA introduced such changes to the rules of cup games to avoid postponing matches and delays in playing individual rounds. The significance of these amendments is clear: is there a club or country a problem for the competition? We give it a walkover and hello. If the authorities of the country where the match is held pass epidemiological regulations that prevent an opponent from arriving at the match, the host club must find an acutely neutral stadium in another country. If he does not, he loses. UEFA, according to information obtained by “L’Equipe”, does not intend to feel sorry for clubs with a flood of diseases. The virus has excluded these players? As long as you have at least thirteen on UEFA’s A-list, you should play. You can select emergency players outside the A-list. You do not gather the team, you lose by forfeiture.
Postponing the August part of the Polish Cup would limit the risk before Ekstraklasa starts?
In Ekstraklasa, mandatory testing every match is out of the question, despite the falling prices for tests, it is still too expensive a solution. Testing once a month would probably be for the Ekstraklasa clubs to bear, but there will be a problem in the lower level. Soon, the details of the season resumption recommendations will be known, the type and date of tests that will be performed before the tournament is canceled. All indications are that, as in the previous season, it will be coordinated and verified from the top.
– We recommend that you do as before and we will see what comes out of it. The season begins on August 22, until then the situation can be brought under control. The clubs that called us for advice were recommended to take the first test at the time to gather the players after their holiday and repeat the test after 5-7 days – says one of the experts from the medical team.
The Polish Cup, whose first round will be played from mid-August, is a bigger challenge. PZPN is ready to fund tests for clubs from lower leagues, which in PP will play against teams from Ekstraklasa. But according to our information, during the medical team’s talks, the idea was to recommend that the first round of PP be postponed (the next round, 1/16, is only played in October), and not increase the risk of infections before Ekstraklasa started.