Khoza: PSL re­mains sus­pended

‘If we don’t act re­spon­si­bly the econ­omy will col­lapse’

Pretoria News - - CLASSIFIED­S - BONGINKOSI NDADANE |

THE Premier Soc­cer League (PSL) has set up a task force that will work handin-hand with the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee to look at when foot­ball in the coun­try will re­sume.

The beau­ti­ful game has been sus­pended in­def­i­nitely due to the coro­n­avirus and Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa’s dec­la­ra­tion that not more than 100 peo­ple can gather.

All other sport­ing codes have been banned be­cause of the virus and the pres­i­dent’s dec­la­ra­tion. There was a glim­mer of hope that foot­ball could con­tinue af­ter the Min­is­ter of Sports, Arts and Cul­ture Nathi Mthethwa jumped the gun and said that the PSL could con­tinue with their pro­gramme be­hind closed doors.

But that has been proven to be un­safe in terms of the spread of the virus. The South African Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Safa) moved quickly to snuff that idea by an­nounc­ing that foot­ball in the coun­try re­mains sus­pended, and if the PSL wanted to con­tinue they wouldn’t is­sue them ref­er­ees.

“We had a long de­lib­er­a­tion on a mat­ter that is com­plex,” PSL chair­man Irvin Khoza said yes­ter­day.

“The NSL (Na­tional Soc­cer League) val­ues the life of our peo­ple. We view the health and safety of the play­ers, staff and stake­hold­ers as para­mount.

“Whilst our in­ten­tion is to com­plete the sea­son by no later than June 30, but be­cause of the ex­ist­ing un­cer­tain­ties in our coun­try we shall re­main flex­i­ble.

“The board of gov­er­nors has man­dated the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee, as­sisted by the ap­pointed task team, to take all pos­si­ble mea­sures to en­sure that the NSL’s league re­sumes in com­pli­ance with the di­rec­tive is­sued by the state pres­i­dent, with the sup­port and align­ment with the na­tional gov­ern­ment.”

Khoza con­tin­ued, “This fol­lows a meet­ing that was held to­day (yes­ter­day) and yes­ter­day (Wed­nes­day) with the min­is­ter of sport, arts and cul­ture and fur­ther con­sul­ta­tion that we had at this meet­ing with the min­is­ters of health and safety and se­cu­rity.

“At this point in time, as the board of gov­er­nors we en­deav­our to make sure that the com­pli­ance is­sues are com­plied with as a mat­ter of ur­gency, there­after the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee will re­port to the board of gov­er­nors for the league to re­sume.”

The sus­pen­sion of the league will have some financial im­pact to the league and the clubs as it’s still un­cer­tain when the league will re­sume.

“The un­for­tu­nate part is that we are a busi­ness and we are af­fected by all other busi­nesses,” Khoza said. “We couldn’t quan­tify the is­sue of money at this point, the im­por­tant thing was to deal with the is­sue of safety be­cause what is hap­pen­ing in the coun­try – there’s no bench­mark.

“There­fore, it is very im­por­tant to think about that first. To say how best can we pro­tect our­selves, be­fore we even deal about the con­se­quences of the losses we might suf­fer be­cause if the virus is so strong as it is in other parts of the world, we might not be there to en­joy the ben­e­fits of what we are hop­ing to pro­tect.

“The ob­ject now is how we stay healthy, how do the play­ers stay healthy and how the ser­vice providers stay safe in terms of broad­cast­ers. If we don’t act re­spon­si­bly, the econ­omy will col­lapse and where will you do busi­ness if there is no hu­man cap­i­tal. The im­por­tant thing is to con­cen­trate on the hu­man cap­i­tal and en­sure that we do our bit.”

SYD­NEY MAHLANGU Back­pagePix

PSL chair­man Dr Irvin Khoza addresses the me­dia about the sus­pen­sion of the PSL at a press con­fer­ence at the South­ern Sun.

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