PSL season could end behind closed doors

PSL chairman Irvin Khoza addresses the media at the PSL headquarters yesterday.
PSL chairman Irvin Khoza addresses the media at the PSL headquarters yesterday.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi / Gallo Images

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) will consider playing the remaining games behind closed doors in the wake of the coronavirus-induced national disaster.

PSL chairperson Irvin Khoza announced the suspension of games yesterday until further notice.

The PSL becomes the latest football league to suspended games after the leagues in Italy, England, Spain, Germany, Portugal and France did the same in the past week.

On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a limitation of 100 people for any gathering.

Khoza said clarity will be needed from the government about the specifics of this limit before making a decision at the board of governors (BoG) meeting on Thursday.

"That is why we need clarity on this 100 people limitation. We can't take a position right now without clarifying that. Before we can even embark on closed doors," he said.

"We want our strategy to be in sync with the government so that we don't do things differently.

"Then we will have options as BoG to take a decision in the best interest of the country."

The football boss added that whatever decision would be taken, it would in the best interest of the country.

"We will be engaged in a stakeholder management meeting with the minister of sport and police commissioner so that at the BoG we can give a position of the PSL about a way forward," Khoza said.

"As a BoG and clubs we will take a position that is in the best interest of the country to make sure we are acting in a responsible way."

In the worst case scenario, should the season be abandoned, sponsors would need to be engaged on the decision.

The PSL, which reported an income of R1bn in their last financial year, has lucrative sponsorship deals with SuperSport, Absa, Nedbank, Telkom, MTN, MultiChoice and GladAfrica.

"There are a lot of legal issues that we must deal with. It's not as easy as the KwaMahlobo Games where we can just call off the games, there are a lot of implications. We have to err on the side of caution and take everything step-by-step," Khoza said.

Thursday's BoG meeting should determine if the next batch of fixtures, set for April 4, will continue.

Cancelled fixtures

Today: Sundowns v Pirates

Tomorrow: Chiefs v Wits

Weekend: Chippa v CPT City; Leopards v Maritzburg; Highlands v Sundowns; Pirates v Wits; SuperSport v Celtic; AmaZulu v Baroka; Polokwane v Chiefs; Stellenbosch v Arrows. 

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