Ahead of the anticipated resumption of the PSL programme next month, there are a few issues that need to be clarified.
Since we are living in the time of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, and what is being called “the new normal”, things are done differently from what we are used to. So certain issues need to be clarified before things get complicated.
We don’t want the clubs to resort to the courts of law to settle matters – because this would only prolong the already delayed season.
If the PSL rules allow the postponement of fixtures for the clubs with three or more players on national duty, what will happen if the same number of players from once club test positive for Covid-19 a week or days before a game?
Will the clubs be allowed to postpone their game/s or not? With the mandatory 14-day quarantine for people who test positive, this could be a problem for most of the PSL and NFD clubs.
As things stand this week, a few clubs have already parted ways with some of their players whose contracts were not extended. As a result, they will be operating with fewer personnel and hoping to complete their remaining games with limited resources. What happens when a player’s temperature reading is above the required 36.5°C on match day as they are screened when they enter the venue?
Based on the health and safety guidelines presented to the clubs, some of these questions have not been adequately answered.
I think it’s imperative to make sure that these questions are answered before the league programme resumes.
My other issue is why the clubs are not forthcoming on certain matters, such as disclosing the names of the players and staff members who have tested positive for Covid-19.
This is the time to be transparent – let’s put everything out there for the people to know the truth. As much I understand the patient-doctor confidentiality issue, I think it would be great for clubs to identify those who have tested positive.
Big ups to clubs such as Bloemfontein Celtic and Orlando Pirates for leading by example and disclosing the names of their players who were infected. As far as I am concerned, individuals like sports personalities can help us get rid of the stigma attached to this pandemic.
Most importantly, disclosing this would help with contact tracing and efforts to contain the virus.
Most people look up to soccer players as their heroes, and I think they should be playing a leading role in spreading a positive message about how we are fighting the virus.
I was told there are more players who have tested positive and their clubs did not disclose this.
According to the information I received, the players were told to self-isolate. So what about those who came in contact with them? What about their families?
Club bosses should not just serve their own interests – they have a bigger role to play. If disclosing that more players have tested positive would put a spanner in the works of the league’s resumption, so be it. Why pretend that everything is hunky-dory when it isn’t? We are talking about people’s lives here, not some mumbo jumbo business.
It was a sad week for some players who found themselves out in the cold after their contracts expired.
The question is, why do clubs have to wait until the last day to inform players that they are no longer needed? Some club bosses didn’t even have the courtesy to tell the players – they received the news via social media.
It’s more of a moral duty than the law. A month before a contract expires, players should be aware of their next move. Imagine if you are told on the last day of the month that your contract is not going to be renewed. Where do you go?
It means that you won’t get a salary next month as you have to find a new club, negotiate and convince them you are worth what you think you are. But players should know better who they are dealing with – some things are no longer surprising in football. That’s the sad reality.
Unfortunately, most clubs are run like spaza shops and they don’t have the decency to treat players with dignity. They chew them up and spit them out like tasteless gum.
Follow me on Twitter @TimspiritMolobi