With 31 positive Covid-19 cases at their home base in Naturena, Kaizer Chiefs have moved quickly to ask the Premier Soccer League to postpone their DStv Premiership games until the end of the year.
Chiefs have four games lined up before the Christmas break, with the most immediate on Saturday against Cape Town City at FNB Stadium. The Naturena side on Friday morning announced that they have sent a request to the PSL to have four games postponed.
In a statement posted on their website, Chiefs wrote: “As Kaizer Chiefs communicated in the last few days leading up to the game against Swallows FC, the Club has instituted stricter COVID management protocols following several positive Covid cases affecting the team and general personnel. Our protocols are always strict but we have had to be more stringent in the last two weeks given the increasing number of infections in Gauteng and the country.
“Players and staff at Kaizer Chiefs Football Club have been closely monitored for symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic and have been tested regularly. More personnel tested positive this week as we were preparing for Saturday’s game.
“As a result of this outbreak that has seen no less 31 people test positive for COVID-19, the Kaizer Chiefs Village is temporarily closed until next week.
“Given the situation, the medical team have conducted contact tracing of primary contacts of those who tested positive and have instructed all players, members of the technical team and staff, including those who tested negative, who are primary contacts to quarantine as per COVID protocols.
“The Club has written to the Premier Soccer League to request for a postponement of the four upcoming games in December against Cape Town City (4 December), Golden Arrows (8 December), Sekhukhune FC (12 December) and Royal AM (22 December) to avoid risk of infection and further spread of the virus and allow those affected to recover and complete their quarantine period before they can play against other teams.
“We view this as a case of force majeure as what the Club is experiencing as a consequence of COVID and the protocols it is obliged to implement, is total beyond the control of the Club. The Club does not at the moment have sufficient players nor technical team to constitute a team. We have appealed to the League to seriously consider the matter for the sake of everyone’s health and safety because there are many other people involved in organising a game.
“The team will be closely monitored by our medical team, while we continue to maintain COVID risk mitigation protocols.
“We urge supporters to take care of themselves and follow all the COVID protocols. Well wishes and speedy recovery to all those affected.”
Should the PSL cede to Amakhosi’s request, it could be that they also decide to postpone all of the DStv Premiership games until the end of the year, with the fourth wave of Covid-19 very much on the rise.