Absa Premiership

SAFA out to protect referees as well, insists Jordaan

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

South African Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan says the health of match officials should also be considered following the coronavirus outbreak.

"Of course, the referee’s health must also be considered. And you see, the problem with the referees is that many of them are travelling by referees," Jordaan said as quoted by Soccer Laduma website.

"These referees are not rich people. Many of them don’t own cars and we also have a responsibility to protect them. We will write to CAF and FIFA to tell them of our stance about local football."

Jordaan took a strong stance against the government's directive to allow Premier Soccer League (PSL) matches to continue amid coronavirus outbreak.

The Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa gave the go-ahead on Monday evening for domestic football to continue behind closed doors with certain safety measures in place after holding a meeting in Pretoria with the relevant stakeholders.

However, Jordaan called for an urgent press conference to address the media and reiterated that no football should be played until at least 4 April - the date given by the SAFA president.

"Our position is the interest and health of the players because for us that comes first," Jordaan said in Johannesburg.

"We have seen around the world that all matches are postponed. We cannot go against what is happening.

"Our position is clear, that all matches are postponed. SAFA has decided that there are no matches. It is not possible to play."

The virus sweeping the globe has brought a grinding halt to sport and SAFA had advised all members to suspend all football matches and events attended by more than 100 people.

On Monday, the PSL held an "urgent meeting" with its executive committee following President Cyril Ramaphosa's address to the nation on Sunday evening.

After that meeting, PSL chairperson Irvin Khoza announced that all matches in the Absa Premiership, GladAfrica Championship and the Multichoice Diski Challenge were to be suspended.

- Compiled by Tashreeq Vardien