Golden Jaguars players, officials undergo COVID-19 tests ahead of resumption of training
The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) has tested members of its domestic-based senior men’s national squad and staff for the COVID-19 virus ahead of the resumption of training for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in March and June and the Concacaf Gold Cup in July.
The tests, conducted at the GFF National Training Centre in Providence this week, followed the granting of approval for the resumption of national team activities by the National COVID-19 Task Force, which paves the way for the safe and responsible return of competitive domestic and international football.
The GFF, supported by medical professionals from the Ministry of Health, tested 32 players who – once given the all clear – will then be free to participate in initial physical evaluations, scheduled for Saturday (January 9) and Sunday (January 10) at the National Training Centre.
Once those evaluations are complete, the squad will commence training under strict health and safety protocols. Ten members of the national team backroom staff were also tested.
“This is an exciting moment for the players and staff as we make progress in implementing our 100-day ‘Bounceback’ plan, following our engagement with the UEFA Assist programme,” said GFF President Wayne Forde.
“We are extremely grateful for the support and guidance of the National COVID-19 Task Force in approving our plans and the Ministry of Health in conducting these tests. We are taking every possible step to provide a COVID-secure environment so that the squad and staff remain safe and well during training.”
“With several important fixtures on the horizon, it is important for us to commence our preparations as soon as possible, as long as conditions allow, to give Guyana the best chance of success in the 2020 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in March and June, followed by our historic return to the Concacaf Gold Cup stage in July.”
The national squad will be split into two groups of 16 for its physical evaluation on Saturday and Sunday, with weekly COVID-19 tests planned to monitor the wellbeing of the group as it progresses through its training schedule.
“I would like to reinforce the importance of testing for the safety of everyone. All of the players were present without any absentees, which proves that they are aware of this issue. They represent the nation. We hope that the results are good and that we can continue our work,” said Golden Jaguars Head Coach Marcio Maximo.
Guyana’s Golden Jaguars are down to engage in two crucial events later this year- the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers and the Concacaf Gold Cup Prelims.