Monday Jul 13, 2020. 13:00
The South African Football Association (SAFA) have shot down the Premier Soccer League’s (PSL) reported ambitions of resuming the 2019-20 season this coming weekend.
According to The South African, the PSL were hoping to restart the pandemic-suspended 2019-20 season on July 19, but SAFA stepped in over the weekend and have slammed the league for their overly ambitious plan.
The PSL needs SAFA’s approval for the government to greenlight any return to action – and that’s not going to happen until at least the start of next month.
“I would like to express utter surprise at the contents of the letter [written by the PSL outlining their plans for a return to play], coming as it does only a few hours after we agreed at our meeting, (at the request of the NSL) that we cannot conduct any substantive deliberations due to Mr Murphy’s [PSL compliance officer] absence due to ill health,” wrote SAFA acting CEO Tebogo Motlanthe, as quoted by The South African.
Motlanthe continued, “The unilateral confirmation of training venues and date for resumption of play on 18 July 2020 by the NSL is against the spirit of our meeting and the resolutions of the Joint Liaison Committee. Sadly, it also undermines Minister Mthethwa’s directive that the association should play an overarching role in this matter.
“I wish to reiterate two critical factors we outlined at the meeting today (Friday), namely; that we are committed to the resumption of play under safe conditions wherein the safety of players, team officials, match officials and other participants is not compromised and secondly, that for the reasons outlined at the meeting and in the presentation I have since sent you, it is not practical to expect resumption of play before 01 August 2020.
“It is for this reason that we agreed to invite the management of the Referees Department to our next meeting to outline their project timelines, which will then enable all of us to make informed, responsible decisions.”