Postponed fixtures a blow to teams

2014-10-31 00:00

THE impact of the Senzo Meyiwa tragedy continued to make itself felt yesterday when the PSL confirmed that there would be no league fixtures this weekend.

A full round of fixtures was due to take place over today, tomorrow and Sunday, but the PSL moved quickly yesterday afternoon, sending letters to all 16 clubs informing them that none would take place.

They cut it extremely fine in Pretoria, where Tuks were reportedly set to fly to Pietermaritzburg for their date with Maritzburg United at Harry Gwala Stadium tonight.

With Meyiwa’s funeral in Durban tomorrow, many PSL players who were scheduled to be in action over the course of the weekend had voiced their dissatisfaction with not being able to attend.

There was more Meyiwa-inspired news from Safa, which confirmed that Bafana Bafana’s next Africa Cup of Nations qualifier — a home clash against Sudan — will now be played at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, Meyiwa’s home town. The November 15 match had originally been pencilled in for Nelspruit.

The break in the PSL means that sides will be in action midweek next week, with that round of fixtures going ahead as planned. Maritzburg United will host Bloemfontein Celtic on Wednesday night while AmaZulu will host Kaizer Chiefs at Moses Mabhida on the same day.

The break comes at a particularly frustrating time for Maritzburg, who are flying high in third position on the log and are the league’s leading goal scorers along with SuperSport United. They had been preparing all week for tonight’s clash, and the late decision yesterday would have knocked the wind out of their sails somewhat.

The club’s chairperson Farouk Kadodia told The Witness that while the decision had to be respected, he felt that it could have been made earlier in the week.

“It is a very difficult situation for all of the clubs and we are all extremely sympathetic to the nature of the news,” he said. “But we would have expected to be informed of the decision on Tuesday at the latest.”

United boss Steve Komphela had spoken of the difficulties in managing the reaction to Meyiwa’s death as well the issues of complacency that had crept into his squad this week.

“It has a huge impact. There are all these things going on and the coach had it under control.

“The players were prepared and now they must start all over again,” added Kadodia.

“There was never a better time to have back-to-back home games like this.”

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