The Premier Soccer League has explained why it has been communicating directly with Minister of Sport Nathi Mthethwa.
JOHANNESBURG – The Premier Soccer League has explained why it has been communicating directly with Minister of Sport Nathi Mthethwa in an attempt to resume play following a suspension due to the coronavirus.
The 2019/20 PSL season has been suspended since mid-March.
There was an outcry that the South African Football Association should be the ones communicating with government as the mother body of football in the country.
PSL acting chief executive Mato Madlala has cleared the air around those suggestions.
“I can’t entertain that notion (that we shouldn’t be communicating directly with the Minister). We got the letter from the Minister of Sport informing us that they have agreed that we can start training and playing matches,” Mato Madlala said.
“The letter indicated that before we can do all that, we need to appoint a compliance officer. The league needs to have a doctor. All the clubs need to have compliance officers.
“Clubs need to test players (for Covid-19). Clubs have to sanitise the training venues. No spectators should be allowed at training. The office of the Minister indicated that we have to inform them in writing that all these things are happening.”
There has been plenty of tension between Safa and the PSL.
“They also wanted us to write to them as to where we will train and where we will play our matches. We had to also explain our plan to resume training,” Madlala added.
“After Safa ran to the media – (complaining) that we’ve jumped the gun by appointing whoever we appointed because they felt they are the ones that should be appointing – we received a letter from the director general of the Department of Sport, saying we didn’t jump any gun. The letter stated that the PSL were within their rights to make those appointments.”
It is not clear when football will resume. Safa suggested the first week of August, but the PSL hasn’t accepted that date.
“All we needed was to respond to the letters that we received from the Department of Sport. We did exactly that,” Madlala said.
“The department sent their own inspectors to check our training venues. It is not like we were writing to the people that don’t like us or who we don’t know why we are writing to them. We then wrote another letter indicating that we want to start playing on July 18. We also sent that letter to Safa as well, stating that we will be starting on the 18th.”
The PSL were ready to reboot the local season as early as this past weekend, but they couldn’t as the match officials were deemed unfit by Safa.
“We have got permission from the Department of Sport. They (Safa) have never said they want anything from me. I sent the Minister and his department all what they asked for. They never wrote to me saying they want this and that.
“They also got hold of us recently, saying they want compliance officers to meet. After that meeting, they have come with a long list of things that they want us to do. That’s where we were told that we have got the permission to start playing.
“All these things saying we need to write to government and gazette, we don’t know where that is coming from. We have got permission. It’s not like we are applying. We’ve got the permission to play,” Madlala said.