Sports Minister Mthethwa asks PSL chair Khoza and Safa boss Jordaan to work together
Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa has asked Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairman Irvin Khoza and South African Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan to work together.
The strained relationship between the PSL and Safa is well documented and Mthethwa strongly stressed that the two bodies must speak to government with one voice.
The PSL and many other sporting events remain halted as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to grip the world with no indication of when things will return to normal.
“It would be advisable that as government we get one voice from them (Khoza and Jordaan) and that is where we are‚” said Mthethwa on Monday morning.
“On the point of playing behind closed doors‚ two months ago on the football front we decided to have a meeting with the president of Safa Mr Jordaan and the chairman of the league Mr Khoza.
“We discussed everything about football and my final message to both of them was that they are occupying a very important space in our society with regards to football.
"As the minister of sport‚ I would nudge them to work together at all material times for the sake of football.
Mthethwa added that he has asked Khoza and Jordaan to advise him on the way forward of how football can resume and the seasons be completed.
“Subsequent to that‚ I have been in contact with both of them and said to them that our country has moved to level 4 and I need their wise counsel as leaders in football‚" he said.
"I need their thoughts regarding the re-opening or softening of the lockdown‚ with our own risk adjusted strategy of government. They must counsel me and I emphasized that.
“With the president of Safa‚ he is a bit far in the Eastern Cape and we couldn’t connect but we did meet with the chairman of the PSL together with Mr Kaizer Motaung to talk about this thing.
“They informed that they are having an executive committee meeting on Thursday (next week) and they will come up with suggestions.
"But as I say‚ I emphasise that when I elevate whatever proposals they have to my colleagues in cabinet‚ I should be going there with one voice.”
Mthethwa said other sports like golf have spoken to him about government allowing them to play as they are not contact in nature.
“Football is one of the contact sports but there are others that have subsequently came to us and pleaded their case.
"Golf is one of them‚ they motivated strongly that the nature of their sport is not contact and when they come to safety in terms of the regulations they fit into that and it will be easier for them to adhere.
“Other sporting codes are raising their issues as well but with regards to football we will be dependent mostly from Safa as the other body of football in the country and the PSL.
"And we hope that they will be guiding government with one voice.”