By THE NATION
All local leagues have been suspended since the start of the pandemic in March and will resume in September under strict conditions. Games must be played with no spectators while players and concerned authorities must have tested negative for the new coronavirus three days before each match.
All expenses to undergo the tests must be covered by the football clubs, which will be a huge financial burden for those in the lower tiers.
The government’s Gold Card health universal programme can serve as an alternative for clubs with a tight budget, said FAT president Somyot Poompanmuang.
“To abide by the rules of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, all participants in each league match must undergo a test and have negative results at least 72 hours before a game,” said Somyot.
“As a lot of money will be required for this process, I have been informed by the Ministry of Health that the Gold Card programme covers Covid-19 tests. This should ease the burden for football clubs,” he added.
The FAT boss also said that Chang Company, FAT’s main sponsor, has a special test lab at the Rajpruek Club and would offer subsidised rates for players.