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PSL returns to action

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
PSL chairperson Irvin Khoza.
PSL chairperson Irvin Khoza.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

The wish of majority of Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs to complete the season has been granted and the local football programme will finally resumes next weekend.

Following the league's board of governors (BoG) meeting yesterday, PSL chair Irvin Khoza confirmed that play will resume on August 8, with the Nedbank Cup semifinals kicking off the proceedings in Gauteng, chosen by the league as the biological safe environment (BSE).

The Absa Premiership and GladAfrica Championship should restart on August 11. In the last four of the cup, Mamelodi Sundowns take on Bidvest Wits, while Bloemfontein Celtic entertain Baroka. The season is expected to be wrapped up in the first week of September.

"Today (yesterday) we unanimously agreed that we must resume the games on the 8th of August," Khoza told a live conference held at PSL headquarters in Parktown, Johannesburg, yesterday

"I've just come out of a board of governors meeting, which was a meeting that was extended... to make sure that I go and engage the stakeholders on the status of resumption of the PSL."

Khoza also revealed the BoG will convene another meeting tomorrow to iron out a few grey areas such as the actual date of the last day of the season, among others things.

Clubs are required to descend into Gauteng with at least 50 personnel, a day before restarting action.

Sowetan reported two weeks ago that a few clubs' representatives in the previous BoG meeting suggested that the season must be nullified, while many were against the idea.

The conclusion that the season will finally restart comes after weeks of protracted war of words between the PSL and SA Football Association, with the latter emphasising that the league was non-compliant with coronavirus health protocols stipulated by the sports ministry.

The PSL had initially planned to resume last Saturday, but Safa couldn't avail match officials, saying they'd only be fit and ready from August 1.

Despite not seeing eye to eye with the PSL regarding play resumption synthesis and proposing August 1 as the perfect date to restart the season, that's been on halt since mid-March, at first, Safa welcomed yesterday's decision.

"We've always wanted the season to be completed. Remember, we need players fit for Bafana Bafana, so this is a win-win situation. We are happy with the set dates," said Safa's head of communications Dominic Chimhavi yesterday.

In what seemed a conciliatory tone, Khoza also praised Safa for taking match officials for Covid-19 tests in preparation of the restart.

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