Sunday World

Covid-19 ravaged Chiefs a no-show

- By Xolile Mtshazo

Cape Town City availed themselves for their Premiershi­p fixtures against the Covid-19 hit Kaizer Chiefs, but Amakhosi were nowhere in sight to host the visiting Citizens at FNB Stadium in Nasrec last night.

The no-show comes after the Soweto giants announced on Friday that 31 members of their staff, including players and members of the technical team had tested positive for the coronaviru­s.

Chiefs appealed to the Premier Soccer League (PSL), the country’s profession­al football body, to postpone their December fixtures, including last night encounter against City.

The other fixtures involve Golden Arrows (8 December), Sekhukhune FC (12 December), Royal AM (19 December) and Maritzburg United (22 December).

“In light of the recent outbreak of Covid-19 infections that has befallen the Club, Kaizer Chiefs submitted two letters to the Premier Soccer League pleading for the postponeme­nt of the remaining matches scheduled for the month of December following the outbreak,” Chiefs announced via a statement on Friday.

“In the interim, the prevailing circumstan­ces dictate that Kaizer Chiefs must sadly confirm that the Club will be unable to host the match against Cape Town City.

“At least 31 employees have tested positive for the virus and the Club has subsequent­ly been obliged to instruct all players, members of the technical team and staff, who are deemed primary contacts, to quarantine as per official protocols.”

With Chiefs failing to honour the fixture, the PSL rules state that the team present but unable to play because of their opponents being unavailabl­e, must be given a walk-over. According to NSL handbook rule 56.13.16.1, a team sanctioned forfeits the match and is considered to have lost by three goals to nil.

In January, Cape Umoya United, who sold their franchise to Venda Football Academy in the first division, were unable to honour a fixture after half their squad tested positive ahead of their match against Cape Town Spurs in the Gladafrica Championsh­ip. The league refused to postpone the game and Cape Town Spurs were awarded a walk-over.

Like Cape Umoya, Amakhosi have argued that they observed all Covid-19 health and safety protocols and it remains to be seen how the PSL will deal with the matter.

The PSL has been mum on whether they have acceded to the Glamour Boys’ request.

Reports have suggested that the PSL was scheduled to discuss and deliberate on the matter of the postponeme­nts at its executive committee meeting on Friday but the league has so far failed to communicat­e what transpired regarding the Chiefs-covid-19 dilemma as there have been no updates.

Both PSL CEO Mato Madlala and PSL media officer Fhatuwani Mpfuni could not be reached for comment yesterday.

PSL prosecutor Nande Becker referred all enquiries regarding the Chiefs versus City match to Madlala.

PSL results: Swallows 1, Maritzburg 1; Chippa 1, Arrows 2; Amazulu 0, Royal AM 0.*

 ?? / Gallo Images ?? Kaizer Chiefs announced on Friday that they would not be able to honour their matches as they are in quarantine.
/ Gallo Images Kaizer Chiefs announced on Friday that they would not be able to honour their matches as they are in quarantine.

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