Safa confident of promoting teams from the ABC Motsepe League to the national first division

Dr Thulani Ngwenya of SAFA as they announce cancellation of all football in South Africa amid Covid-19 during the SAFA press conference at SAFA House on March 18, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Dr Thulani Ngwenya of SAFA as they announce cancellation of all football in South Africa amid Covid-19 during the SAFA press conference at SAFA House on March 18, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

South African Football Association (Safa) acting president Tebogo Motlanthe is confident that they will be able to promote teams from the ABC Motsepe League to the GladAfrica Championship.

This is a response to this week’s developments after it was confirmed that the professional season will be concluded in a Biologically Safe Environment (BSE) in Johannesburg.

Safa said from the beginning that amateur football can only resume at level 1 of the lockdown but Motlanthe conceded they may return to action sooner if they get the green light from government.

“I am meeting with the chief executive of the PSL (on Wednesday) but as Safa we are confident that we will be able to promote teams from the amateur leagues‚” said Motlanthe.

“When I say I am confident‚ at some stage you need to say to the competitions committee what must we do to ensure that we promote. You need to also think outside the box because this is a new thing and if you do not promote‚ what message are you sending to the teams that have spent a lot of money.

“You must remember that we initially said all football‚ including the PSL‚ can only return on level 1 of the lockdown‚ but we will take guidance from government. Once government says it is safe to play‚ we will do so but currently scientists tell us that it will be safe to play amateur football on level 1.

"Our Chief Medical Officer Dr Thulani Ngwenya is continuing to research and he must come up with the return to play document for amateur football. Even during the safe time‚ there are measures that must to be implemented to ensure that everyone involved is safe.”

Matlanthe admitted that if they get the go ahead to resume amateur football‚ they will not be using the ‘bio-bubble’ model that is going to be used by the PSL as they cannot afford it.

“We have said that Dr Ngwenya must develop a return to play document but the ‘bio-bubble’ is expensive and we won’t afford it. We don’t want to lie to anyone about it. Our competitions committee and government need to work hand in hand because we want everything to happen on the field.

“You must remember that it is not in our hands‚ it is going to be the same route we went through with the PSL.

"Government must say to us we are ready to play amateur football and once they have said that we will complete those leagues so that we are in a position to promote.”

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