BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
WARRIORS captain Knowledge Musona is in the midst of a Covid-19 crisis at his Belgian top-flight club KAS Eupen after 17 players and five officials at the club reportedly tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Although Standardsport could not establish if the Zimbabwe international is among the players who tested positive for Covid-19, KAS Eupen last week confirmed that they were battling to contain the spread of the virus within their camp.
The club, however, did not disclose the identity of infected players “out of respect for their private life”.
On Thursday, Eupen released a statement confirming the postponement of their match against Musona’s former team KV Oostende, which was scheduled for yesterday, having been granted permission to defer their last three matches by the Royal Belgian Football Association.
“Due to the numerous Covid infections in the KAS Eupen A-squad, the Pro League cancelled the KAS Eupen championship game at KV Oostende that was scheduled for next Saturday. 17 players from the KAS Eupen senior squad are currently infected with Covid. The home games against Zulte Waregem and KRC Genk had previously been cancelled. Replacement dates have not yet been set,” the club said in a statement.
KAS Eupen’s sporting director Jordi Condom, however, revealed that none of the players and officials who had tested positive was currently hospitalised.
“Seventeen players are affected, as well as five members of the staff and collaborators. We had everything in place, with our doctors, but also in consultation with the specialists of the Pro League. “We did everything to avoid this situation, but it is clear that something did not work,” Condom said in an interview with the Belgian newspaper L’Avenir.
“Fortunately, nobody is hospitalised, so in this serious situation, it is something positive. “Some have symptoms, others have none at all. ”
The Belgian club is worried of the possibility of having a heavily congested schedule and the impact it could have on their players when they are finally granted permission to compete in the league probably in January.
“We really hope that everything will be over to resume in good conditions in January. You have to think about the physical, but also the psychological after-effects on the players,” KAS Eupen coach Beñat San José said.
KAS Eupen have not featured in the Jupiler Pro League since December 6 when they beat Beerschot VA 1-0 away at the Olympisch Stadion Antwerp to extend their unbeaten run in the league to five matches.
Their last three matches against Zulte Waregem (December 6), KRC Genk (December 15) and yesterday’s encounter against KV Oostende were postponed as they battle a Covid-19 outbreak.
The Qatar government-owned club, which is based in the German-speaking city of Eupen in Belgium’s province of Liège, has been on a good run of form in the Jupiler Pro League after enduring a difficult start to the season.
Musona has played a pivotal role in the club’s recent success having featured in all the club’s 15 Jupiler Pro League matches this season while managing two goals and as many assists.
The 30-year-old Zimbabwe international, who is in his second loan spell at Eupen, has flourished after being redeployed to an unfamiliar central midfield role by Eupen’s Spanish manager Beñat San José this season.
Musona also led from the front during the Warriors’ back-to-back 2021 Afcon qualifiers against Algeria, scoring a spectacular freekick during the 2-2 draw at the National Sports Stadium on November 16.