'Coronavirus is God's yellow card to the world' - Sredojevic

Orlando Pirates coach, Milutin Micho Sredojevic
The former Orlando Pirates coach is confident that African football will bounce back stronger when Covid-19 subsides

Zambia national team coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic believes that when football returns, it should be used to heal people from the “trauma and torture” brought by the coronavirus pandemic which he describes as "God’s yellow card to humanity".

With football on a halt in most countries around the world, Sredojevic is confident that the game will not lose its mass appeal and beauty if action resumes.

Narrowing his views on African football, the ex-Orlando Pirates coach says that this period of inactivity should be used for self-examination to correct any wrongs.

“I personally believe that African football will come back strong after this break in terms of club and national football. Why do I believe in this? I believe in this because this Covid-19 [pandemic] is like an invisible yellow card that we have from God and Mother Nature,” Sredojevic told Goal.

“In that regard, I would like to say that we need to do some introspection as humanity, what we have done wrong.

"We need to find ways out of this situation to reflect inside ourselves to be much better than we have ever been.

"To love life and respect the rules that are written anywhere and not allow any more time for what is happening to humanity to come back.

“I strongly believe that all of us being in isolation and quarantine we have enough time to think about everything and to bounce back stronger, and be hungry for football.

“For the people out of football we need to heal their souls with football.

"For us within football, we need to find a way and be hungry for football and bounce back extremely strong and giving our best in overall humanity recovering from the trauma and torture that Covid-19 did to all of us on this planet.”

The Serb has, however, admitted that the suspension of football affected planning as he was gearing for his first competitive assignments as Zambia coach.

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Zambia were due to take on Botswana in 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers at the end of March and then participate at the African Nations Championship (Chan) finals this April.

“[The] postponement of Afcon qualifiers and Chan tournament due to the Covid-19 [outbreak] has been a huge setback for all of us working in football,” continued Sredojevic.

“However, we need to understand that no football is more important than human lives. I would say it affected our planning but we need to look forward and beyond this Covid-19 crisis we are going through.”