Monday Apr 27, 2020. 09:00
Former Kaizer Chiefs coach Sergio Dos Santos has cautioned South African football of following in the same footsteps as the Netherlands.
The European country’s government declared that all public gatherings and events are banned until September 1 due to the coronavirus pandemic, meaning the Eredivisie has been forced to abandon its 2019-20 season – with no champions or relegation.
This kind of drastic action is an option South Africa’s Absa Premiership – which has been suspended since March – could take, though Dos Santos believes the situation calls for a different solution.
“It’s a very, very difficult one this issue. You see, what they’ve done in the Netherlands, of course, by doing that they’ve taken the responsibility away from making the decision. So, nobody gets relegated, nobody wins anything,” Dos Santos is quoted by Goal.
“They’ll start everything next year and in South Africa, it’s a little bit different because the money in South Africa is a very important thing for the clubs and now you can’t give the league to one team when the other team has got the chance as well.
“You can’t relegate a team when the other team has a chance to be relegated as well. You can’t promote a team from the second division if there’s another team that has a chance.
“So, my suggestion, if they are going to make a decision I think right throughout the entire world, the best thing to do is to say, look because of the virus, the league this year is closed and finished then we start again [with a new season].
“The second option is that in the new year, maybe the league should start a little bit earlier and they finish the last seven or eight matches and then start the new season.
“That is also a possibility because there’s a lot of money that has to be won and that will be lost. That’s correct [because there’s a lot of sponsors involved]. So, I think that idea could be a quite nice idea because it would be different from what I think is probably going to happen around the world.
“Maybe South Africa can do something slightly different, we can say right, the league finishes now because of the virus and next year, instead of starting the league for example in February, we will start in January and we finish the current season.
“Then the teams can start the new season [we will have a chance to decide on who is relegated] and give the other teams an opportunity to gain promotion and avoid legal battles – that’s also a nice idea.”
Dos Santos continued, “We have seven to nine matches left in South Africa and there’s still a lot to play for. You can do that in two months, you can finish it. If the teams play two games per week, you can finish it quickly.
“It also gives them a chance to start the new season with fit players and we will also sort out this thing about player contracts [some have signed pre-contracts].
“South Africa is very different from what is happening around the world. So, we’ve got to look at what is best for us here. Maybe here we can do something different.”