Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
3 minute read
7 Dec 2021
6:33 pm

Chiefs continue to defy PSL, will not attend Arrows match

Sibongiseni Gumbi

'It must be noted that Kaizer Chiefs has never in the past and will never play with positive Covid cases,' read a statement on the club website.

Kaizer Chiefs have asked for four games to be postponed. Picture: Kaizer Chiefs

Kaizer Chiefs continue to take a stand against the Premier Soccer League’s policy on Covid-19 and have confirmed that they will not be honouring their DStv Premiership fixture against Golden Arrows in Durban on Wednesday. 

ALSO READ: The PSL, Covid-19 and a scary strategy of play-at-all-cost

Amakhosi wrote to the PSL last week, asking that all four of their matches before the end of the year be postponed, after 31 members of staff tested positive for Covid-19.

Chiefs did not turn up for Saturday’s game against Cape Town City, although City owner and PSL Exco Committee member John Comitis has claimed the PSL replied to Chiefs and told them they could not postpone the match.

The PSL Exco did resolve in August 2020 that no team could have a match postponed because of Covid-19.

Amakhosi, however, claimed in a statement on Tuesday that they had yet to hear from the PSL, while explaining why they will also not attend Wednesday’s game against Arrows.

“Following further consultations with the medical department and management regarding the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak that occurred at the Kaizer Chiefs Village last week, Kaizer Chiefs is unable to travel for the scheduled league match against Lamontville Golden Arrows, scheduled for Wednesday, 8 December at Princess Magogo Stadium in Durban,” read a statement on the club’s website.

“While Kaizer Chiefs awaits the Premier Soccer League’s decision on the Club’s request to have the remainder of their matches scheduled for December postponed, the playing squad has cautiously resumed return to play protocols today.

“In a concerted effort to restore the Village to an environment safe enough to be re-opened as soon as reasonably possible, the Club performed more Covid-19 tests on the available senior and junior teams’ players, members of the technical team and support staff on Monday morning. Sadly, the test results revealed that the outbreak of Covid-19 that initially motivated Kaizer Chiefs to put in a request for postponement of matches had spread further within the camp – with five more people testing positive for the virus, bringing the number of reported cases in the last few days with the Club to 36.

“The increase in positive cases does not come as a huge surprise to the Chiefs medical team given the high number of infections already detected within the Club, a situation that led to the immediate suspension of activities at the Village for several days, in accordance with the NICD and Department of Health protocol.

““This shows us why it was important for the team to temporarily avoid playing or interacting with others as this could potentially cause the virus to spread beyond the Club – which is an undesirable situation for all involved,” says Kaizer Chiefs Physician, Dr. Hashendra Ramjee. “It is our responsibility to try to contain the outbreak as much as we can and save lives as players and staff have to go back to their families on a daily basis.”

“On a more positive note, some staff will be emerging from isolation and returning to work in the coming days. However, players who have completed their isolation will need to undergo special return to play protocols to get them back to match fitness. The medical team and the coaches will monitor the situation very closely to try and mitigate risk.

“Kaizer Chiefs doctors continue to keep a close eye on the situation and have imposed strict protocols in the hope of alleviating the crisis in the coming week, as more people are expected to come out of isolation.

“In conclusion, we value the lives of our players, staff, their families, supporters and the country at large. We continue to operate in a safe environment that will not knowingly endanger people’s lives. It must be noted that Kaizer Chiefs has never in the past and will never play with positive Covid cases. We will also not endanger the lives of Citizens of this country by engaging in air travel from a province with the highest number of infections to another. We call on responsible behaviour and the need to act as leaders as we deal with this pandemic and these extraordinary circumstances.”