Absa Premiership

SAFA CEO clarifies: We were never against the resumption of the PSL season

Absa Premiership trophy (Gallo Images)
Absa Premiership trophy (Gallo Images)
  • SAFA acting CEO Tebogo Motlanthe confirmed that the soccer governing body is not against the resumption of the PSL season but insists on protocols being followed.
  • Motlanthe added that SAFA will soon announce its position after further discussions with the PSL in an attempt to reach an agreement on a return to action date.
  • It is likely that PSL teams will depart for Gauteng this weekend, with the province to act as a bio-safe bubble and matches taking place in the first week of August.

Acting CEO Tebogo Motlanthe on Tuesday clarified that the South African Football Association (SAFA) was not against resuming the 2019/2020 season.

SAFA though, insists that safety procedures must be followed as the resumption of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) draws closer.

PSL chairperson Irvin Khoza on Monday confirmed that the league would resume in Gauteng which will act as a bio-safe environment.

An initial date of Saturday, 18 July was proposed by acting PSL CEO Mato Madlala in a letter to Motlanthe, who later strongly criticised the decision.

Speaking to Sport24, Motlanthe stressed that SAFA would welcome the return of football if all safety measures are followed.

"We need to have this made clear that as SAFA, we were never against the resumption of the PSL season," Motlanthe said.

"But it needs to be done by following all of government's lockdown regulations and the safety protocols approved by the Department of Arts, Culture and Sports.

"We were at first caught by surprise by the PSL's proposal to us in the letter communicated. Since receiving further communication from the PSL we will soon make clear what our position is."

Motlanthe added that although SAFA was at first strongly against the PSL's proposals, there have been new developments as the two organisations try to reach an agreement.

"SAFA was not involved in the discussions that took place between the government and the PSL, who decided on Gauteng as the venue to stage the resumption of the league," he said.

"We've had further discussions with more information being brought forward by the PSL and we will soon communicate publicly what our own position is.

"Nothing has been agreed yet and there is a meeting scheduled for later today (Tuesday) between the head of compliance, Dr Thulani Ngwenya and the Joint Liaison Committee (JLC) members.

"After the conclusion of this meeting an announcement is likely to be made soon after on the procedures to be followed on how and when the league will resume."

Absa Premiership side Cape Town City earlier announced that players and staff had undergone a second round of Covid-19 testing and were now fully compliant to resume the season.

The significance of this is that teams were advised to undergo their second round of testing within 72 hours of travelling to the bio-safe bubble.

It is now likely that teams will be tested for a second time and then converge to Gauteng as early as this weekend.

A return to competitive matches will then likely be staged in the first week of August.

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