Wednesday Mar 18, 2020. 12:00
South Africa’s Minister of Sport, Arts and Recreation, Nathi Mthethwa, has given the Premier Soccer League (PSL) the go ahead to resume matches behind closed doors.
The PSL on Monday announced that it was suspending all matches set for this midweek and weekend, following a declaration of national disaster over the coronavirus epidemic.
The organisation will meet with club representatives and the board of governors on Thursday, and it is expected that a decision on whether to start playing again will be announced in the wake of that event.
“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,” Mthethwa stated in Tuesday’s press conference, as quoted by Goal.
“Therefore, they will continue with their matches, which will be without spectators, and they will finish the season.”
The Minister added, “The most important thing for us, as they do that, is they will be spreading the message to fight against this pandemic,” he continued.
“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.”
Most clubs in the PSL have played 24 of 30 rounds in the league season, while the Nedbank Cup has reached the semifinal stage, with Bloemfontein Celtic, Mamelodi Sundowns, Baroka FC and Bidvest Wits remaining in the competition.