KZN officials to meet with La Liga over coronavirus ahead of football summit

A cleaner sprays seats at the San Paolo stadium in Naples, Italy. With the sporting world hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, the World Football Summit is due to be held in Durban this week.

KwaZulu-Natal economic development MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube is set to meet with Spanish football league officials and organisers of the World Football Summit amid the spread of the coronavirus in the province.

The summit is scheduled to take place in Durban on March 17.

KZN premier Sihle Zikalala made the announcement at the provincial Aids council meeting at Grey’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday. The hospital is one of four in the province that is designated to treat the virus.

Zikalala said Dube-Ncube would be meeting with the summit organisers – and organisers of other international conferences set to be hosted in Durban – to discuss contingency plans in the wake of the coronavirus.

“The immediate conference that was going to take place that is planned to start on March 17 in eThekwini [is] the World Football Summit. MEC Dube-Ncube is liaising with La Liga, the host organisation, but we will also be liaising with all other organisations. So there should be no panic that if we host the conference there will be a spread in the virus,” said Zikalala.

The summit is set to take place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre over two days. It will bring together football stakeholders to discuss and generate business opportunities within the sport.

Zikalala’s address came after the national health department had announced that a further six people had tested positive for the virus. The total number of infected people currently stands at 13.

The premier, a former economic development MEC, said the spread of the virus would have an impact on the economy.

“The situation is affecting us in various forms as a country. Economically, we are already experiencing the decline of people travelling into the country. That is marked by fewer bookings in flights and cancellations of various international people who were supposed to come,” he said.



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