Sports minister gives PSL green light to resume matches, but Safa quickly disagrees

Minister of Sport, Arts and Recreation Nathi Mthethwa says Premier Soccer League (PSL) action can resume as long as it's played behind closed doors to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

On Monday, PSL chairman Irvin Khoza announced that all the matches for this week will be suspended until further notice in compliance with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s declaration of a national disaster over Covid-19.

READ: Huge dilemma facing the PSL

However, on Tuesday after a meeting with Khoza, Safa president Danny Jordaan and other sports federations, Mthethwa recommended that PSL matches resume, but be played behind closed doors to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

“It is not in two weeks or a week, it is now. We have said that, firstly, we need the chairman and others in the leadership of sport to raise their voices against this pandemic,” said Mthethwa.

“Therefore, they will continue with their matches, which will be without spectators, and they will finish the season.

“The most important thing for us, as they do that, is they will be spreading the message to fight against this pandemic.

“So, there is no confusion. Even if we are going to reach a point where there are no matches, that will be gradually phased in. But as we speak, they can have their match tomorrow [Wednesday], with no spectators,” added Mthethwa.

The final decision, however, still rests with the PSL Board of Governors, who are set to meet on Thursday to decide when the matches will resume.

Safa tweeted its position on Tuesday night that the matches had to be considered postponed for now.

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