- The process of implementing the PSL's safety protocols may prove challenging for less equipped teams on smaller budgets.
- Competitive matches will only be given the go-ahead if all teams fully comply with the first phase of returning to training safely.
- Teams such as Polokwane City and AmaZulu have already raised concerns over the practicality of implementing the PSL's safety protocols.
After receiving the go-ahead to resume training on 24 June, Absa Premiership teams will now begin the prolonged process of implementing all medical checks and safety measures recommended by the Premier Soccer League (PSL).
Since being suspended indefinitely on 15 March, just over 100 days had passed when the green light was finally given by the government for a return to training.
The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture in a statement confirmed that the PSL could now legally look to resume the 2019/2020 campaign after going beyond the minimum requirements in their proposal.
All 16 teams will now have to adhere to the NSL Directive on Return to Training document, which details all protocols to ensure safety and to prevent the risk of Covid-19 infections.
This, though, will undoubtedly prove challenging for various top-flight teams, especially those who do not boast state-of-the-art training facilities.
At some clubs, where resources are limited, even implementing social distancing could be difficult, given the size of the training ground changeroom.
It has been made clear that any return to competitive matches will only be allowed if all 16 teams fully comply with the safety protocols at training.
So far, Kaizer Chiefs, Bloemfontein Celtic, Orlando Pirates and Stellenbosch FC have all confirmed positive Covid-19 results - with seven cases in total from players and staff.
A number of teams, including AmaZulu, Baroka FC and Black Leopards, have confirmed to Sport24 that they are due to undergo testing over the next few days, from 25-29 June, with many others expected to follow.
"We need to consider the guidelines set out by SAFA and the PSL's Joint Liaison Committee (JLC) and then it needs to make sense for us," AmaZulu media officer Brilliant Mkhathini said.
"There are unique issues that we're dealing with down here. Unlike rugby teams, in soccer, we rely on the local municipality to provide us with facilities.
"As a club, we have to provide everything in terms of ensuring that safety measures and regulations are being followed."
Mkhathini further confirmed that the Durban-based side would be undergoing testing on Monday, after a delay in securing a testing date.
AmaZulu were non-committal when asked if they would be making their test results public.
Golden Arrows, meanwhile, when contacted by Sport24, also confirmed that their squad had undergone testing - but they were yet to announce the results of those tests.
Many teams lower down the Absa Premiership table - such as Black Leopards, Baroka FC and Polokwane City - may also find it tough to adhere to all the regulations without the necessary support from the league.
Polokwane City head coach Clinton Larsen previously said that some will struggle more than others with practising the proper hygiene and sanitising.
"It is going to be difficult for some clubs because not all clubs have the facilities," Larsen said.
The former Bloemfontein Celtic and Golden Arrows coach added that not all clubs had the financial means to properly follow all protocols.
"Other clubs are in a similar situation and, in that regard, it's not easy to be disinfecting fields every single day after every single training session," he added.
"That is going to be a bit of a challenge, but I am sure it's something that the league has thought about and we are going to make sure that we adhere to whatever protocols and demands they put on clubs.
"It's not going to be easy, but it's doable."
Due to the severe financial implications caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, many clubs have been brought to their knees financially, with teams like AmaZulu and Cape Town City both enforcing pay cuts.
SAFA and the PSL, though, are identifying solutions to every club's unique financial position in an effort to help them adhere to the required standards.
Each club is required to appoint a compliance officer, who will report to SAFA's head of medical, Thulani Ngwenya. He was appointed as the head compliance officer to oversee the entire process.
After the first phase of training to recondition players back to full fitness, a second round of testing will be held before teams travel to a bio-safe location, where matches are expected to be hosted.