‘Whether we resume in two months’ time, three months’ time or five months’ time or six months – the government and its departments must give us the go-ahead.’
THE PREMIER Soccer League (PSL) is in discussions with the Minister of Sports and Recreation Nathi Mthethwa about possibilities of resuming the league programme.
PSL chairman, Irvin Khoza, informed Independent Media that they are set for an important engagement with Mthethwa next week.
“Fifa has issued a directive providing the green light for the resumption of the leagues around the world. The directive extended 2019/20 season by a month from June 30 to July 31. Remember, the season was supposed to end on the 30th of June 2020. This Fifa directive gives one condition to the resumption of the league – that the leagues must obtain a go-ahead from their respective government departments of health,” Khoza explained.
The PSL has been on pause since mid-March because of the coronavirus outbreak and clubs have expressed their keenness to conclude the marathon competition.
“The PSL is in discussion at the moment with the Minister and other relevant authorities to ensure that Fifa’s condition is met and we can work on the plans for the resumption of the league,” the soccer supremo added.
South Africa entered what the government has termed level 4 of the lockdown and sporting activities are still not allowed. The country was on a complete lockdown last month. Level 4 means some economic activities can resume but many restrictions, affecting social gatherings and sports competitions, are still in place.
“There are two factors that are now urgent. We engaged the minister yesterday (Thursday) and the executive committee is looking at the 7th (of May to meet Minister again), so we must respond to him about issues that we need to deal with in terms of the discussion (we had on Thursday).
“There are things that we need to provide on our meeting on the 7th. The executive committee will revert to the minister on the ongoing discussions,” Khoza stated without revealing details of what the Minister requested of the league.
Some leagues around the globe are getting ready to resume action while others have decided to conclude their programmes. But Khoza refused to speculate what will happen in the PSL.
“We can’t even discuss that because there’s a task team that is going to be part of the meeting on the 7th (of May). It is only after that meeting that somebody can comment. Whatever we have to do we have to follow the instructions of Fifa.
“Whether we resume in two months’ time, three months’ time or five months’ time or six months – the government and its departments must give us the go-ahead. That’s why we are engaging the minister on this matter. After the meeting on the 7th of May, we will issue the statement (about the way forward).”