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Clubs warn the costs could prevent them from conducting second round of Covid-19 testing

PSL chair Irvin Khoza will lead a meeting of the 32 clubs on Tuesday June 30 2020.
PSL chair Irvin Khoza will lead a meeting of the 32 clubs on Tuesday June 30 2020.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Attempts by the Premier Soccer League (PSL) to complete the season may hit a snag with most clubs in the GladAfrica Championship warning that the costs could prevent them from conducting a second round of Covid-19 testing.

Most clubs in the GladAfrica Championship have already conducted first round of testing of their players and essential staff but they may not be able to do the second round of testing because it is too costly.

Some of the club officials who spoke to TimesLIVE on condition of anonymity said the first round of testing and observing stringent coronavirus health and safety protocols has cost between R45,000 and R60,000‚ depending on the number of people who must be tested.

“To be honest‚ it’s very expensive to do all these Covid-19 health and safety protocols.

"We need help from government or the PSL because some of us may not be able to do the second round of testing and that is just the honest truth‚” said the first official.

All the 32 clubs in the PSL are expected to have done at least two rounds of testing of players and staff before they report for the base camp to complete their respective seasons.

“At our club‚ we have already done one round of testing and one test cost R850 per person.

"So‚ if you have about 35 to 40 people who must to be tested‚ is not a cheap exercise.

"You must remember we didn’t budget for these because no one knew that there was going to be coronavirus.

"We need help from the league or even government because the Department of Sport has the Relief Fund.

"No one has said anything to us and you must remember that we still have to pay salaries of players and staff‚” said a second official.

A third official said the costs do not end with testing as there are several other things that must be done to ensure that players are safe and the training environment is conducive.

“We are not only expected to test players‚ but we are also expected to buy sanitisers to sanitise everything so that no one is exposed to danger.

"We also have to buy things like masks‚ gloves and new water bottles ........ these things were not in our budgets and they are not cheap.

“For an example‚ sanitising is not a once-off thing.

"It must be done repeatedly and when it is finished you must go and buy more.

"It is the same with the gloves and the masks‚ when they are finished we must go and buy some more and that is money that we don’t have‚” said the third official‚ who also added that he doesn’t know who is going to cover the costs of the safety and health protocols when they are at the base camps.

“We have a Board of Governors (BoG) meeting (on Tuesday) and I hope that there is clarity on what is going to happen going forward because we can’t go on like this.

"The reality is that our club‚ and I know that many others‚ cannot afford all these things for a sustained period of time.

"We don’t even know what will be happening next season‚” he said.

PSL spokesperson Lux September said all the clubs must wait for the Board of Governors meeting on Tuesday.