Johannesburg – All scheduled soccer matches for this week have been postponed, the Premier Soccer League (PSL) said in a statement on Monday morning.
“Stadiums that were going to host some of our fixtures have been confirmed as venues to host memorial services and other gatherings to pay special respect to Madiba,” PSL chief executive Brand De Villiers said in the statement.
“We therefore took a decision that, due to logistical challenges faced by the PSL and the clubs, we should postpone the fixtures scheduled for mid-week and the weekend.”
The announcement comes after former president Nelson Mandela died in his Houghton, Johannesburg, home on Thursday night.
The struggle icon's memorial service will be held at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday and he will be buried at Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, where he grew up, on Sunday.
The postponement of matches affects the Premiership, National First Division and first division qualification fixtures until December 15, following Mandela's funeral.
On Tuesday, Mamelodi Sundowns were due to host Kaizer Chiefs in a crucial league encounter, while Wits would have hosted SuperSport United in an equally important fixture.
On Wednesday, Ajax Cape Town and Orlando Pirates were due to meet at the Cape Town Stadium and Platinum Stars would welcome Bloemfontein Celtic.
Friday's action saw Maritzburg United up against Wits in Pietermaritzburg and Saturday and Sunday had a full weekend of fixtures scheduled, with no fewer than six matches set to take place.
De Villiers confirmed, however, that Premiership fixtures would resume on Monday, December 16, and matches would be re-shuffled to accommodate the late changes. – Sapa