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Plan to jump-start football dealt level 3 blow

PSL chairman Irvin Khoza and Safa president Danny Jordaan.
PSL chairman Irvin Khoza and Safa president Danny Jordaan.
Image: Martin Rhodes

The joint task team of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and Safa is set to report back this week but now their work could all be in vain as sporting activities remain prohibited under lockdown level 3.

Two weeks ago the PSL and Safa set up a task team to look into the feasibility of football games returning under the coronavirus health crisis.

The task team was given 14 days, expiring today, to draft a proposal on whether games could resume or not.

The PSL leadership had been pushing for league games to resume under level 3 of the lockdown.

Those plans flew out the window on Sunday, when President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed that sports would remain banned.

Member of the task team and Safa acting CEO Tebogo Motlanthe told Sowetan yesterday: "A date hasn't been set for the task team to meet this week so we will see in the coming days.

I cannot share much with you at this point."

Other members of the task team are Mato Madlala (PSL acting CEO), Dr Thulani Ngwenya (Safa chief medical officer), Safa NEC member Poobalan Govindasamy, Dr Lervasen Pillay (PSL medical head) and Jose Ferreira (PSL exco member).

An insider with knowledge of the discussions revealed that Ramaphosa's announcement has thrown a spanner in the works.

"As you may know, the PSL wanted games to resume under level 3 but now that is out the window.

It is now back to the drawing board and it's becoming difficult to see how the season can be completed," the informant said.

For games to resume, players would have to go into training camps first for at least three weeks, to regain fitness.

Under level 3, which starts on June 1, sporting facilities, accommodation and group exercise also remain prohibited.

"Any place open to the public where cultural, sporting, entertainment, recreational, exhibitional and organisational, or where similar activities may take place, will remain closed," Ramaphosa said.

Madlala could not be reached for comment.