Safa’s Jordaan and PSL’s Khoza to report back to sports minister on football’s return to play
SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan and National Soccer League (NSL) chairman Irvin Khoza will both report back to sports minister Nathi Mthethwa on the protocols established by a joint Safa-PSL task team on the safe conditions for a return to play of the sport.
This follows a report-back by the task team‚ that was established two weeks ago to investigate the necessary conditions under which football can return‚ to Safa and the NSL’s joint liaison committee on Monday.
The Premier Soccer League (PSL) is the trading name of the NSL.
The PSL suspended matches on March 16 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in South Africa and the ensuing national lockdown has preserved the shutdown.
Safa said in statement released on Monday afternoon: “The Safa [sic‚ and PSL] Joint Liaison Committee met on Monday‚ 1 June 2020 at Safa House and agreed that both the Safa President‚ Dr Danny Jordaan‚ and NSL chairman‚ Dr Irvin Khoza‚ must report back to the Minister of Sport on the protocols for the Return To Play.
“The two have also been mandated to meet and brief Ministers of Health and Transport on what needs to be done in the case of football returning to play.
"Monday’s meeting adopted the report and protocol from the Task Team that says football can only resume under specific conditions as prescribed by the Protocol.
"The meeting resolved that Safa will write to the Minister asking permission on training procedures.
“The two‚ Dr Jordaan and Dr Khoza‚ will also discuss the possible starting dates for the resumption of football matches.
"In his address on Saturday‚ Minister Nathi Mthethwa spelt out the way forward for contact and non-contact sport.
"He gave training the green light but also underscored the fact that playing [for contact sports‚ including football] was impossible on alert Level 3 according to firm Government specifications.
“Minister Mthethwa participated briefly in the meeting on Monday and emphasised the need to balance the health of football stakeholders and that the economic impact Covid-19 has had on the game.”
The move from level four to three in the phased exit from the lockdown on Monday allows non-contact sports events to resume and for all sports‚ including contact‚ to train.
However it continues to prohibit such activities in Covid-19 hotspots.
This means in urbanised areas‚ where most professional athletes and sports teams are based‚ such activities remain banned under the national emergency.
But transport ministry director general Alec Moemi did say on Saturday that it “could be permissible” for athletes and teams to move out of hotspots‚ though such a provision would have to be ironed out with the sports ministry.
This would open the way for football teams to resume non-contact fitness training‚ but the vast majority of professional clubs are based in hotpots‚ and would have to find venues outside of those.