Safa puts one over PSL

PSL acting CEO Mato Madlala.
PSL acting CEO Mato Madlala.
Image: BackpagePix

The view of the SA Football Association that local football games cannot resume under the current coronavirus pandemic appears to have prevailed in the joint task team that was formed by the local league and the mother body.

A fortnight ago, Safa and the PSL's joint liaison committee (JLC) formed a task team, which looked into the feasibility of the return of games.

Prior to the formation of the JLC, Safa's position was that games can only return under lockdown level 1, while the PSL pushed for games to return as soon as possible.

The task team was given 14 days, which expired on Tuesday, to compile a report for the JLC. The report is complete and according to sources, Safa appears to have triumphed.

Safa had the upper hand in the six-member task team as Sowetan has learnt that the chairperson was Safa's national executive member Poobalan Govindasamy.

Their position was further strengthened after President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed that SA would move to lockdown level 3 from June 1 but sports activities would remain prohibited.

"In the end Safa felt vindicated because government also felt that games cannot return. Our view was never about being vindictive but it was about putting safety of the players first," a source said.

PSL acting CEO and member of the task team Mato Madlala yesterday said she couldn't share details of the report to the JLC. Madlala however conceded that she doesn't know when games can make a return or if the season can be completed after July.

"I don't know about that [when games can return] at this point. It is up to the government to decide," she said.

Asked about the work of the task team, she said: "I am not in a position comment on the task team. The JLC is a Safa structure so they will have to give comment."

Safa spokesperson Dominic Chimhavi referred us to Govindasamy who did not answer his phone yesterday.

Madlala conceded that contractual issues could arise as players could refuse to play when their contracts expire.

A club can have players whose contracts are expiring but if they do not want to extend nothing forces them to do that," she said.

The PSL will today convene another executive meeting where it's expected to map the way forward.

Attempts to get comment from government through the sports ministry were unsuccessful.

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