psl targets tourneys

THE Premier Soccer League is expected to come up with stringent measurers to curb what it calls the "abuse of players" by organisers of off-season competitions.

THE Premier Soccer League is expected to come up with stringent measurers to curb what it calls the "abuse of players" by organisers of off-season competitions.

The PSL is gatvol with the way the players are featured in off-season tournaments when they are supposed to be relaxing with their families.

The league is also concerned that the players risk sustaining career-ending injuries, which are furthermore not covered by insurance.

The PSL executive committee will meet on January 18 to discuss this thorny issue, among other matters. They will also try to come up with ways to curb the trend.

The league's chairperson, Irvin Khoza, said yesterday that the PSL would not tolerate the abuse of players by the organisers of these competitions.

He was responding to an article in Sowetan yesterday in which it was reported that a host of Premiership players took part in various festive season tournaments.

The Orlando Pirates chairperson was also critical of the players involved .

"I think there is also a level of irresponsibility on the part of the players," Khoza said.

"We all know insurance companies always look for excuses not to pay out. Clubs do not give permission to play in matches not sanctioned by the league.

"We know that Steve Lekoelea got injured while playing in one of these competitions. That injury created a lot of problems for Steve in his professional career afterwards."

Khoza said Pirates had given all their players letters before they went away for the holidays, reminding them of their responsibility to the club.

"We expect them to relax with their families during the holidays to avoid sustaining injuries.

"There is also a handbook which serves as a reminder to them on how to handle themselves both on and off the field," Khoza said.

"We are talking here about some of the players who are expected to represent us at the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

"I can't understand why would a Bafana Bafana player go out there and risk sustaining a career-threatening injury by featuring in a festive season competition.

"Whoever is advising them is irresponsible and many people have been complaining that our players are playing too many games and end up suffering from burnout.

"This is simple ambush. The players belong to us as clubs, they have contracts with us. People must respect these contracts.

"If it is true the tournament in Limpopo was organised by Jazzman (Mahlakgane), then I'm disappointed. I have high regard for Jazzman."

Those who have featured in off-season competitions include Teko Modise, Katlego Mashego, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Itumeleng Khune, Jimmy Tau, Mandla Masango, Happy Jele, Tefu Mashamaite and Teboho Mokoena.

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