PSL teams given the go-ahead to train

PSL chair Irvin Khoza and Safa president Danny Jordaan in 2009 when they were organising the 2010 World Cup. Today they are trying to resolve the crisis brought on by Covid-19. / Getty Images
PSL chair Irvin Khoza and Safa president Danny Jordaan in 2009 when they were organising the 2010 World Cup. Today they are trying to resolve the crisis brought on by Covid-19. / Getty Images

SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan and National Soccer League (NSL) chair 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 yesterday.

Safa said in statement released yesterday afternoon: "The Safa and PSL joint liaison committee met on Monday 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.

Yesterday'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," it said.

"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 4 to 3 in the phased exit from the lockdown yesterday 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 disaster.

The remaining 107 games in the Absa Premiership and GladAfrica Championship could be completed in a month.

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