SA sports minister open to talks over restarting the season

SA sports minister open to talks over restarting the season
Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Sports

by Graeme Jackson

Tuesday May 05, 2020. 12:00

South African sports minister Nathi Mthethwa has revealed that he wants the country’s Football Assocation (SAFA) and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) to work together and remain on the same page as far as resuming the 2019-20 season is concerned.

South Africa has slightly relaxed lockdown regulations since the start of the month, moving from Level 5 to Level 4. SAFA last week released a statement detailing their understanding that football can only come back at Level 1 behind closed doors.

Yet the PSL are hopeful that government will allow them to resume in Level 3, stressing that clubs are wilting under the financial strain.

Minister Mthethwa held a media briefing on Monday and revealed that he is due to converse with SAFA president Danny Jordaan, PSL chairman Irvin Khoza and veteran football administrator Kaizer Motaung on a way forward.

“We want to engage their wise counsel on their thoughts on the reopening of the lockdown with our own risk-adjusted strategy, as government,” said Mthethwa, as quoted by Kick-Off.

“They must counsel me, both of them [Jordaan and Khoza]. And I emphasise, it would be advisable that, as government, we get one voice from them.”

Mthethwa added: “My final message to both is, they are occupying an important space in society in regard to football, so as the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, I would nudge them to work together at all material times in regard to football.”

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