Bafana to play Afcon qualifier sans supporters

Soccer fans still barred from matches as PSL kicks off

Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa
Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa
Image: GCIS

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) 2020/21 season will kick off without spectators until further notice, but media houses can now send one journalist each.

Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa has gazetted regulations giving sports the green light to return to action, but no spectators will be allowed into stadiums. SA football supporters have been barred from stadiums since the PSL suspended league matches in March. The status quo remained when the season was wrapped up.

Bafana Bafana’s 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sao Tome and Principe at FNB Stadium next month is also affected.

Professional and amateur sport also received the thumbs up to return. Athletes are also allowed to return to training.

International sport is allowed for countries with a low or medium Covid-19 infections and transmission rates.

“Sports activities may resume without any spectators and must comply with the health protocols. A match may only include players, match officials, journalists, emergency medical service, security personnel, radio [and] television crew and support staff, and the necessary employers of the owners of the venue,” reads the gazette.

“Each media house may deploy one representative to cover a match. Only individual pre-packed meals with disposable drinking bottles are allowed in the sporting venue.”

All sports bodies are encouraged to comply with the guidelines for quarantine and isolation concerning Covid-19 exposure and infection issued by the department of health.

The minister advised all athletes and support staff to test for Covid-19 before the resumption of sporting activities. 

As was the case with the recently concluded bio-bubble, PSL teams must continue to use compliance officers to “oversee the implementation of the operational plan for each activity”.

The minister added that all travelling teams must provide Covid-19 test results of their members 72 hours before departure. If individuals travelling with them are unable to produce negative certificates, they must be quarantined at their own cost.

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