Absa Premiership

SAFA advises suspension of all soccer matches

Danny Jordaan.(Gallo Images)
Danny Jordaan.(Gallo Images)

The South African Football Association (SAFA) has advised all members to suspend all football matches and events attended by more than 100 people.

After President Cyril Ramaphosa's declaration that the coronavirus disease is a national disaster, he outlined measures to prohibit gatherings of more than 100 people.

SAFA has now advised that all its members suspend games or events in line with the president's directive.

"Some of the football authorities elsewhere in the world have taken measures such as playing matches in "empty" stadiums without spectators," SAFA said in a statement.

"This response has not proven to be effective in minimizing the spread of the virus. In Europe, some players who were participating in matches "behind closed doors" have recently been found to be positive. Therefore, we do not believe that the practice of playing behind closed doors is effective.

"Following on our statement of last week in which we had indicated that it was not necessary to postpone or suspend the domestic football program at that stage, circumstances have changed drastically for the worse.

"Government has called on all stakeholders to take all necessary steps to prevent the spread of the virus.

"On behalf of the National Executive Committee of the South African Football Association (SAFA), all members of SAFA are advised to suspend and/or postpone all football matches and football events that are attended by more 100 people in the country until further notice.

"We will be in contact with the Health Authorities and we will be reviewing the situation on an on-going basis. Members will be advised on a continuous basis accordingly. This is our effort to promote the health and safety of all our members including players, officials, sponsors and staff."

The Premier Soccer League is due to make an announcement shortly to whether it will suspend all professional matches indefinitely.

- Compiled by Baden Gillion

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