Chippa United could face government's wrath after alleged lockdown regulations breach
Chippa United could face sanctions from the government for breaking Level three lockdown regulations after it emerged that the Eastern Cape club's players were involved in group training at Kings Beach in Port Elizabeth.
Clubs are not permitted to train under level three of the lockdown regulations as the Premier Soccer League (PSL), the SA Football Association (Safa) and sports minister Nathi Mthethwa are still discussing safety protocols on the safe return of football.
Chippa chief operating officer Lukhanyo Mzinzi told TimesLIVE on Wednesday that they are going to investigate the matter internally.
“I am going to investigate this matter internally and whoever is found to have broken the rules and regulations will be brought to book,” said Mzinzi.
Insiders close to the matter told TimesLIVE that the United players have been training at Kings Beach for a number of days and concerned citizens in Port Elizabeth reported the matter to the club, but no action has been taken.
Another insider said the players have been training under the watchful eye of coach Rulani Mokwena in their own training clothes and not in the kit of the club as a way of disguising themselves.
It is also believed that the players are not comfortable with the situation as they fear contracting Covid-19 by training in groups while there has not been testing by accredited health and safety officials.
A few weeks ago Mthethwa clarified that professional contact sports such as football and rugby can resume fitness training but only after they have outlined elaborate health and safety plans to be approved by government.
Mthethwa gave sports federations 14 days to report back to him on their plans for resuming training safely, a step that needs to be fulfilled before they are allowed to go back to training.
Safa spokesperson Dominic Chimhavi said they are investigating the matter.
“We are investigating this issue which has come to our attention, once we have got the facts we will issue a statement,” Chimhavi said.
In the meantime, the PSL, who reportedly held an executive committee meeting on Monday, sent out a communiqué that clubs should be allowed to return to training.
However, this should also be subject to how far clubs have progressed individually in compliance with testing, sanitisation and quarantining regulations.
Other considerations are related to whether the clubs are based in coronavirus hotpots or have managed to find suitable, compliant training venues outside hotspots and after an official announcement by the minister.
PSL senior manager Luxolo September said he could not comment on the matter.