Tim Spirit | Ben Motshwari’s positive Covid-19 result should be a signal for PSL

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Timothy Molobi
Timothy Molobi

How ironic it was that, on the same day the PSL leadership was meeting to map the way forward regarding the resumption of the league programme, the first local player has tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus.

The news of Orlando Pirates midfielder Ben Motshwari testing positive could not have come at a worse time for the league, and it must have put a real damper on the meeting.

I wonder how the news was received and interpreted at the meeting. It must have thrown a spanner in the works for them.

For me, it sends a clear message that the leadership should not rush into making uninformed decisions.

Coaches always preach safety first on the field of play, particularly when it comes to defensive duties.

Let’s rather be safe than sorry. I think the PSL should resume only when it is completely safe to do so – irrespective of when that is.

If this season must play to the end, it won’t matter whether it is in August or some other time, as long as we don’t rush into making decisions that could come back to haunt us.

This pandemic is unprecedented and people need to understand that this is not a normal environment, so abnormal decisions might have to be made. We’d live with it – whether we liked it or not.

But I hope the leadership of football will make decisions that will benefit all South Africans and not a few individuals.

If I had my way, I’d say the league should count its losses and start planning for next season.

The Motshwari situation must have given Safa ammunition to shoot down any attempts to restart the season anytime soon

For once, I agree with Safa that no football should be played until the country is at lockdown level 1 or until it is absolutely safe to do so.

Is there pressure to conclude the season? If so, where does it come from?

How much do they stand to lose if they abandoned the league now?

Is it about the financial implications?

If there are more valid reasons, why would they want to finish the season so soon?

I am still not convinced.

Although it is still not clear what will be decided at Thursday’s meeting – everyone has kept mum – maybe it is premature to jump to any conclusion.

Were they stumped by the Motshwari revelations? One wonders what effect or influence the Motshwari situation could have on the discussions.

The finding that Motshwari tested positive shows that this virus is real and it should send a clear message that we need to take it seriously.

We don’t want to end up being in the position of saying we “could have” or “should have”. It would be too late by then.

In my language, we say nkabe ke ngwana wa morago.

The Motshwari situation must have given Safa ammunition to shoot down any attempts to restart the season anytime soon.

Hopefully, after Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa’s call for the leadership of the PSL and Safa to speak with one voice, there will be sanity and unity between the two organisations

The mother body has been hell-bent on discouraging any talks of the league’s resumption, citing what other countries were doing and saying it would be premature to restart locally.

Let’s first make sure we can comply with regulatory safety and security measures in full.

To rush this just for the sake of reopening poses an unnecessary threat to everybody’s health and safety. We should not have to compromise.

Hopefully, after Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa’s call for the leadership of the PSL and Safa to speak with one voice, there will be sanity and unity between the two organisations.

It really does not help for either party to pull in a different direction.

They need to get together, agree to disagree and decide when the season will resume, period.

Most South Africans are not interested in their squabble. They are much more interested in when the season will resume – if it does.


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