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PSL’s return plan will be unanimous

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Safa has backed the task team assigned to complete a final report on the resumption of football to do so speedily and without prejudice.

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Football Association (Safa) has backed the task team that has been assigned to complete a final report on the resumption of football to do so without prejudice and in record time.

On Tuesday, a joint liaison committee made up of Safa representatives and its special members, the Premier Soccer League (PSL), discussed the resumption of the season.

It’s been at least two months since the PSL season – which included matches from the Absa Premiership, the Nedbank Cup, the GladAfrica Championship and MultiChoice Diski Challenge – came to a complete halt because of the coronavirus pandemic.

With lockdown currently on level 4, Safa suggested it would only be possible to restart all forms of football activities on level one, and that on levels three and two players could start training in groups and full squads respectively.

On the other hand, the PSL is said to be considering level three for the resumption of football for various reasons, which include the extension of players’ contracts beyond June 30 and contractual obligations between the organisation and its broadcasters and sponsors.

With the PSL and mother body not seeing eye to eye, newly elected Safa acting chief executive Tebogo Motlanthe said the meeting was fruitful. He said they appointed a task team consisting of three members from each party to reach a unanimous decision within a period of two weeks about the resumption of football.

“Unfortunately, when it comes to the details of the meeting, it was agreed that the details of the meeting should not be shared to avoid contradictions because the (proposals) were different opinions,” Motlanthe told IOL Sport yesterday.

“There were two proposals from two different structures. They came together and spoke, agreeing that the task team must comprise three people from both sides and form a document that will talk about a single position.”

He continued: “That single position can’t be from one person, two or three people. We must sit down and agree on what to do. That’s what we are mandated by the notice.

“The way I am counting it (making the decision) will take less than 14 days because that’s the maximum period. From there on, the principals will go out and say this is our agreement.”

Once the task team present their findings, which both parties would have to agree to, the two organisations will jointly present their unanimous decision to the Minister of Sports Nathi Mthethwa, who’ll make a presentation to Parliament.

While Safa and the PSL are at loggerheads on when and how football should resume, it’s only the government that can give the final green light on the matter.

This was an instruction from the report made by Fifa medical chief Michel D’Hooghe, who was analysing the importance of the safety of all stakeholders.

“The meeting was important because we now have to decide (a new) statute of football. And I’d say we are achieving that (a happy working relationship),” said Motlanthe on the importance of the two organisations working together during these trying times.