Sport / Phakaaathi / Local Soccer

Jonty Mark
Football Editor
2 minute read
26 Mar 2020
12:31 pm

The PSL season is done and dusted – De Sa

Jonty Mark

Roger De Sa believes there is no realistic chance that the Premier Soccer League season will finish and that government support is required sooner rather than later for all business, including football.

Roger de Sa (Photo by Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images)

De Sa, the former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper and Orlando Pirates and Bidvest Wits head coach, now a part owner of GladAfrica Championship side Cape Umoya United, attended the PSL Exco meeting on Thursday, where a task team was set up to see if it is possible to complete the 2019/20 campaign, in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic.

While there were some keen at the meeting for the season to be completed, there was also an acceptance that there is an unprecedented threat to health right now, that makes this impossible.

The PSL have postponed the season until further notice, but chairman Irvin Khoza said on Thursday that they still hoped to get the season done by June 30.

“I think it is just a show of strength and perserverance,” said De Sa.

“Deep down we all knew this thing will take months, as we have seen from the news and what has happened in other countries.

“We have to be realistic … I reckon this season is done and dusted, it could be worse than we all think.

As much as we want to think ‘maybe in a couple of weeks (we can play)’, we have to look at other countries and see what is going down … they are possibly even better prepared than us. It hasn’t even hit our poor areas yet. It will be scary if it does.

“I would go into a lockdown right now. Prevention is better. I would say close the country down for two to three weeks, then look (again).”

De Sa added that the main issue for people wanting the season resume, is the threat that not playing poses to their business.

“A lot of people really rely on the business, I think that was a big thing (at the meeting) I don’t think anyone put their club first, or even had the opportunity to do so.

“I think it’s gone, done, we (at Cape Umoya) have closed shot, if the PSL decide for us to play (then they do), but it’s not likely, let’s be realistic. I have a business in tatters (De Sa owns an industrial laundry business), imagine bigger businesses.

“I was talking to Ari (Efsthathiou, the Ajax Cape Town owner) on the flight back (to Cape Town) and he was telling me what he was going through, cancellations at his hotels, it is horrific. I have 40 staff, what do I do with them?

“Everyone is waiting for the president (Cyril Ramaphosa) to come out and make some kind of commitment, loans need to be frozen, this has to happen, something has got to give, because we are not going to be able to carry on like this.

“It is like being at war.”

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