Jonty Mark
Football Editor
2 minute read
7 Dec 2021
8:55 am

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

Jonty Mark

What is going on? Well, it would have been nice if the PSL would let us know.

Dr. Irvin Khoza and his Premier Soccer League colleagues have plenty of explaining to do. Picture: Christiaan Kotze/BackpagePix.

The Premier Soccer League. It’s a name with a bold claim.

ALSO READ: Kaizer Chiefs’ Covid-19 saga – what has happened so far

But, there has been nothing Premier at all about the PSL’s handling in the last week or so, of Kaizer Chiefs’ request to have their matches until the end of the year postponed because of an outbreak of Covid-19 at the Amakhosi village.

Chiefs made a statement about their request on Friday, since when the PSL have said absolutely nothing about the matter in public.

According to Cape Town City owner and PSL executive committee (Exco) member John Comitis, whose team were supposed to play Chiefs on Saturday, the PSL did write to Chiefs refusing their request.

Also on Friday, the PSL Exco met and apparently didn’t come to a resolution, though Chiefs issued a statement later that day saying they were not turning up for the City match at FNB Stadium.

City did go to the game, observing league protocol which, at the time of writing, still could get them, by virtue of a walkover, a 3-0 win awarded.

And still the league remained tight-lipped, heading into another executive committee meeting yesterday.
In the meantime, we found out, coincidentally or not, that PSL prosecutor Nande Becker had resigned his post.

Becker would otherwise have been the man to bring charges against Kaizer Chiefs, if they were deemed necessary, for failing to attend the match.

So what is going on? Well, it would have been nice if the PSL would let us know.

The main issue here seems to be that if the PSL are to stick to the rules that they put in place in August 2020, where a decision was taken that on no account could a team call off a game because of Covid-19. In this case, Chiefs would have to have the points taken away from them.

Then again, this is a rule that seems decidedly inhumane, in the middle of a pandemic.

The league has given the impression throughout this period of being determined to keep the game going, which is honourable in intent, I suppose, but when lives are on the line it is also ludicrous.

It is surely the decision by the Exco to simply blanket ban teams from postponing games due to Covid-19 that is the problem here, and not Chiefs refusing to play, because they have had 31 cases of Covid-19 at the Amakhosi village.

The PSL have dug themselves their own hole here, because if they let Chiefs off, it will be seen as favouritism towards the most popular club in the country.

And if they don’t, it will look a callous move towards a team that Soccer Laduma reported had only 13 fit players for the Cape Town City clash.

We are in the middle of a pandemic. For the league to carry on regardless, even with the financial dangers of not playing, seems a dangerous play.