The Premier Soccer League’s silence was deafening on Saturday evening as Cape Town City showed up at FNB Stadium, only to find themselves locked out, leaving about 15 minutes after the scheduled 6pm kick off for their DStv Premiership clash with Kaizer Chiefs.
Chiefs had clearly stuck to their announcement on Friday evening that they would not attend the match, after an outbreak of Covid-19 in the Amakhosi camp saw 31 members of staff test positive.
Amakhosi had sent a letter to the PSL earlier in the day, asking that all four of their Premiership matches be cancelled until the end of the year. The PSL Executive Committee met on Friday but as of Sunday morning, had not made any official comment.
There is a precedent, however, where Cape Umoya United did not turn up for a Glad Africa Championship match against Cape Town Spurs on January 3, after an outbreak of Covid. The PSL Exco granted Spurs a 3-0 win in that match on the grounds that according to a previous decision from the league, Covid-19 cannot be used as an excuse for the postponement of a game.
Cape Town City announced on Saturday that they had turned up at FNB Stadium and observed the PSL’s rules if an opponent does not show up.
Chiefs have made no official announcement since their statement on Friday, and were consistent in the sense that they did not show up for the match on Saturday,
“In light of the recent outbreak of Covid-19 infections that has befallen the Club, Kaizer Chiefs submitted two letters to the Premier Soccer League pleading for the postponement of the remaining matches scheduled for the month of December following the outbreak,” read a statement on the Chiefs website.
“In the interim, the prevailing circumstances dictate that Kaizer Chiefs must sadly confirm that the Club will be unable to host the match against Cape Town City, scheduled for Saturday, 4 December at 18:00. At least 31 employees have tested positive for the virus and the Club has subsequently been obliged to instruct all players, members of the technical team and staff, who are deemed primary contacts, to quarantine as per official protocols.
“Unfortunately, this is the only option available in the current situation and, as a responsible corporate citizen, Kaizer Chiefs upholds its duty to protect the lives of those around us – including others – and do our best to avoid an outbreak that might potentially affect the league and the country.”