Absa Premiership

Sport ministry: PSL-SAFA co-operation decisive in soccer's resumption

Absa Premiership trophy (Gallo Images)
Absa Premiership trophy (Gallo Images)
  • Sport minister Nathi Mthethwa believes the co-operation between SAFA and PSL was decisive in local soccer resuming this coming weekend.
  • The two organisations will have to continue in that spirit as both have compliance officers who need to consistently report back to government. 
  • There were familiar tensions between the two following confusion over government directives, but those differences were set aside.

Sport minister Nathi Mthethwa on Monday hailed the spirit of co-operation between the South African Football Association (SAFA) and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) as the decisive factor in the current domestic season playing to a conclusion from this coming weekend.

Familiar tensions between the two organisations seemed to have come to the fore last month after the PSL's initial resumption date was criticised by Tebogo Motlanthe, SAFA's acting chief.

Motlanthe subsequently clarified that government's correspondence on the league's return-to-play as well as jurisdiction for its enforcement had created confusion and that the joint liaison committee was highly "successful".

The ministry agreed.

"I must express my appreciation on how the PSL and SAFA have been working together of late," Mthethwa told a media briefing.

"They've been approaching government as one. And we applaud them for that. We want this to continue."

With action resuming on Saturday with the Nedbank Cup semi-finals, government's plea for a continued teamwork is unsurprising.

"The action from this weekend onwards is subject to the approved plans and protocols as outlined by the regulations published by die department. This isn't a case of fait accompli where the players just get back onto the field," said Mthethwa.

"They will play based on the plans that were submitted and we reserve the right to hold back any activity if we feel those protocols are not adhered to.

"The compliance officers of both the PSL and SAFA will work together and ensure that all measures comply with the commitment made. We are expecting to receive the report from the compliance officers imminently."

- Compiled by Heinz Schenk