Monday May 18, 2020. 11:00
The South African Football Players’ Union (SAFPU) have called for the health and safety of their members to be strongly considered in regards to a restart of the 2019-20 Premier Soccer League (PSL) season.
The PSL has been suspended since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, though the league and the South African Football Association (SAFA) have been in talks to find a way to get the season back up and running.
But SAFPU president Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe says players should be strongly involved in these discussions and plans, as they are the ones putting their health at risk by coming back to the field of play.
“What is the most important thing for us is the health of players, safety-wise as well as the livelihoods of players,” said Gaoshubelwe on Daily Sun.
“We must find the balance between the two. If these things are taken care of, just like all the other sectors, players will be able to play. We have made our submissions to both the league and SAFA.”
It is unclear whether the PSL will follow in the footsteps of Germany’s Bundesliga, which returned successfully behind closed doors this past weekend, or of the Eredivisie and Ligue 1, which have been scrapped entirely.
“We cannot thumb suck decisions [because] those leagues have stopped therefore we must do the same,” Gaoshubelwe added.
“If we follow them, we have to know what will happen to players’ contracts if we do not continue [and complete the PSL season].”