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Ball could soon be rolling for amateur soccer again

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Safa CEO Advocate Tebogo Motlanthe said in the directive the Safa National Executive Committee had resolved to “allow amateur football to resume”.

Thabo Namisa Safa Northern Cape spokesperson and Youth Development Co-ordinator. Picture: Neville Motlhabakwe.

THE SOUTH African Football Association (Safa) on Wednesday gave all its 54 Local Football affiliates permission to resume training in anticipation of amateur football restarting in March.

Safa CEO Advocate Tebogo Motlanthe on Tuesday this week issued a directive to all the association’s regions, provincial structures, competitions committee members including the organisation’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to urgently comply with the instructions.

Safa Northern Cape spokesperson and Youth Development co-ordinator Thabo Namisa favoured local media houses with the Safa NEC directive and safety protocols manual on Wednesday.

Motlanthe said in the directive the Safa National Executive Committee had resolved to “allow amateur football to resume”. He clarified that such resumption will be phased in over a period leading up to the actual start of fixtures at the beginning of March 2021. In the meantime Safa affiliated local football clubs have been encouraged to start training exercises almost immediately, bar the observance of the recommended safety protocols.

The directive from the CEO’s desk was accompanied by an 18-page manual on the recommended Covid-19 safety protocols governing practices, matches and related issues.

Controversially, Safa’s safety regulations left it up to the discretion of individual clubs on whether or not to conduct Covid-19 tests on all players. The manual explains that it recommended this route of optional testing of players based on the poor budget situations of almost all its affiliate members.

Namisa said Safa NC were still disseminating the national directive to its members and would monitor for possible feedback from the local affiliates. Namisa welcomed the resumption of football activity at local level saying its members had been making enquiries about exactly this eventuality.