Monday Mar 16, 2020. 12:00
South Africa’s top-flight league organisation, the Premier Soccer League (PSL), is meeting at midday on Monday 16 March to discuss its response to the coronavirus outbreak in the country being declared a “national disaster”.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation in a live briefing on Sunday night and announced several major steps the country will be implementing to fight the outbreak of the disease, including closing schools from Wednesday and shutting down major ports of entry.
In addition, gatherings of over 100 people have been banned countrywide, and it is this particular element which will have a major effect on the PSL’s running competitions: the Absa Premiership (top tier), GladAfrica Championship (second tier) and Nedbank Cup, the quarterfinals of which were completed this past weekend.
A press statement released by the PSL late on Sunday evening read: “The Premier Soccer League, the largest event organiser in South Africa, in its response to the State President’s announcement that gatherings of more than 100 people be prohibited, will be holding an urgent meeting of its Executive Committee on Monday, 16 March 2020 at 12:00 after which a press conference will be held to announce the details of its programme going forward.”
It is expected that the PSL will follow in the footsteps of other major leagues around the world – including the Premier League, La Liga and UEFA Champions League – and suspend all activities until at least April.
President Ramaphosa confirmed that South Africa had 61 cases of coronavirus at the time of his address on Sunday night, with that number expected to rise over the coming days and weeks.