Jonty Mark
Football Editor
2 minute read
20 Jul 2020
10:21 am

PSL season on brink of cancellation

Jonty Mark

The Premier Soccer League have been meeting with stakeholders to discuss whether to cancel the 2019/20 season, with the South African Football Association continuing to block the resumption of the current campaign.

John Comitis. Pic: BackpagePix)

The PSL were ready to start last weekend with the Nedbank Cup semifinals, in a Biologically Secure Environment (BSE) in Gauteng, but this was quickly nipped in the bud by Safa, who said that their referees were not ready to officiate, and also that the league had still failed to comply with a number of requirements, with health and safety a priority in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The league are adamant that they had the go-ahead from government to restart, after they and Safa had presented a joint task-force report to the Minister of Sport Nathi Mthethwa, on how the 2019/20 season could be completed.

The league intend to complete the campaign in Gauteng, in a BSE that ensures the coronavirus is contained. Clubs have already started training in preparation for a resumption, but Safa remain unhappy, with CEO Tebogo Motlanthe saying last week:

“The delay is not because of referees, referees are just part of the fixture (delay),” Safa CEO Advocate Tebogo Motlanthe told Phakaaathi on Thursday.

“There are still outstanding compliance issues, in terms of …. Clubs (only) submitting letters to the NSL compliance officer Michael Murphy. Safa has our own two compliance officers and they are supposed to exchange information so we are satisfied with compliance in terms of the government gazette. Safa would be liable for any violation (of the gazetted rules).”

The PSL, however, clearly do not agree that there is more that needs to be done in terms of compliance.

“We have got an ok from government,” Cape Town City owner and PSL executive committee member John Comitis told Phakaaathi on Monday.

“We have handed in everything, there is no willingness (from Safa) … everything is an uphill.

“If Safa keeps insisting on things we have already done, we don’t have logistically the ability to get it (this season) done. Realistically, we need six weeks, then when do you start the new season? They have just made a simple thing complicated. We got a letter from government on June 23 telling us we were good to go.”

The PSL have been speaking to their stakeholders, and Comitis said he expects another Board of Governors meeting around Wednesday to discuss their options.

 

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