The PSL has extended the DStv Premiership season to accommodate the three South African teams involved in the CAF interclub competitions.
While the league has not yet updated the fixtures on its website, City Press has seen the new programme that was sent to the clubs on Friday.
The premier division season was scheduled to end on May 29, but now room has been created to give Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates leeway to fulfil their continental obligations.
The domestic campaign will now end on June 5.
Sundowns and Chiefs are in the Champions League quarterfinals, while Pirates will contest the last eight of the Confederation Cup.
The first legs are scheduled for next weekend with return fixtures a week later.
Voyage to North Africa for Downs and pirates
Sundowns and Pirates have trips to North Africa to prepare for, which would have made it difficult to complete the season under the previous programme.
The Brazilians have seven games to play this month.
These include a trip to Egypt, where they will face their former coach Pitso Mosimane in a clash against Al Ahly.
The first leg will be in Cairo on Saturday, with the second game being played the following week in Pretoria.
With the fixture changes, Sundowns no longer have domestic games between two CAF matches.
Their match against SuperSport United at Loftus Versfeld has been moved from May 19 to May 26.
Their league clash against Swallows, which was postponed in March, will now be played at Dobsonville Stadium on May 29.
Pirates also had an outstanding clash against TS Galaxy that was postponed earlier because of their continental commitments.
It will now be played on May 30 at Mbombela Stadium in Mpumalanga.
Bucs host Raja Casablanca of Morocco in Orlando on Sunday before the second leg on May 23.
On their return from Casablanca, the Soweto giants will face AmaZulu at home on May 27.
Chiefs have an easier logistical process to manage as they host Simba on May 15 before travelling to Tanzania for the return fixture on May 22.
Their clash against Black Leopards, which was initially set for May 18 in Venda, Limpopo, will now be played on May 26.
A key consideration in the extension of the season by the PSL was the Covid-19 protocols in other countries.
The South African clubs will need to provide their players’ negative Covid-19 tests before leaving the country.
They will be tested again when they arrive in their host countries – Egypt, Morocco and Tanzania.
They could also be subjected to quarantine. These strict protocols could have further exasperated the situation.
New league D-day
With the fixture congestion, the PSL had no option but to postpone the final league games.
It is a two-horse race between Sundowns and AmaZulu.
The Brazilians could extend their lead at the top if they beat TS Galaxy this afternoon.
PSL’s problem solved
On Thursday, the league’s acting CEO, Mato Madlala, declined to confirm if the final day of the season could be affected or be rescheduled.
“I think we have a solution for the situation, but we first have to consult the affected parties,” she told City Press.
Madlala had promised to give an update on Friday, but her phone rang unanswered.