‘Our lives have changed’ – Madagascar’s Andriatsima recounts experience in quarantine

Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the 35-year-old is confined to Saudi Arabia and he has described what life in isolation is like

Faneva Andriatsima has opened up on what life is like in isolation as football-related activities are suspended across the globe due to Covid-19.

The Saudi Arabian Premier League was put on hold with the 35-year-old boasting of just five appearances for new team Al Feiha after a move from Abha.

The Madagascan has had to stay in the Asian country as there was no chance for him to travel back home, and he has described the situation as “delicate”.

“For several weeks, our lives have changed. As the virus spreads in Europe, we started playing matches behind closed doors,” Andriatsima told RFI.

“We played two games under these conditions. Then the authorities began to ban events that could bring many people together, including the soccer championship.

“It’s been about ten days since the competition and training have been suspended and we are confined. Afterwards, I still manage to work and maintain myself.

“I live in a large residence, three other players are my neighbours. We have room for training, biking. We even have our own soccer field! But it is necessarily a delicate situation.

“It is the complete cessation of sport and our work. But health is the priority and the Saudi authorities were right to stop the championship.”

Luckily for him, he is consoled by the fact that his family, who are trapped in Saudi are with him, else, the situation could have been unbearable.

“Of course! Basically, I live alone in Saudi Arabia and they come from France to see me during the school holidays. The last one was in February and they were due to leave on March 8,” he continued.

“But as the situation started to get complicated in France we delayed and, finally, they are still here, by my side.

“So much the better because it would have been very difficult to be alone at home in Saudi Arabia with the rest of the family confined far from it! We are together to live in this exceptional situation.”

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