Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs are hellbent on only honouring their matches this month when it is safe to do so after confirming that they’ll be a ‘no-show’ for tonight’s scheduled Premiership clash against Golden Arrows amid an outbreak of Covid-19 at the club.
On Friday morning, Chiefs confirmed that they had closed the gates at their base after 31 personnel tested positive for Covid-19.
As such, they had appealed to the league to postpone their matches as a safety measure. But the Premier Soccer League has been quiet on the matter, despite its executive committee convening that morning.
Chiefs, though, opted to forfeit their match against Cape Town City on Saturday, despite the visitors pitching up at FNB Stadium.
However, with the PSL exco reconvening on Monday morning, light was expected to be shed on the matter. Instead, there was more deafening silence.
But Chiefs again reiterated yesterday that they won’t visit Arrows tonight.
“After consultations with the medical department … on the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak that occurred at the (Naturena) Village last week, Kaizer Chiefs is unable to travel for the scheduled league match against Golden Arrows,” their statement read.
Arrows’ assistant coach Vusumuzi Viakazi told Independent Media yesterday that they are currently in camp and are preparing to host Amakhosi in Durban as nothing was said to the team about a postponement or cancellation.
Chiefs confirmed that the “playing squad has cautiously resumed return to playing protocols” yesterday, while also bringing to light that there were five more cases that were discovered this week as their infected personnel rose to 36.
The club’s physician and chief compliance officer Dr Hashendra Ramjee said: “It is our responsibility to try to contain the outbreak (of the virus) as much as we can as the players and staff have to go back to their families on a daily basis.”
A sense of normalcy is set to resume within the village in the next few days, with the backroom staff coming out of isolation and returning to work.
But the players will have to go through the mandatory health protocols before starting training.
With the PSL yet to comment, Chiefs may lose as many as six points for the two matches they’ve forfeited.
Some clubs in the top-flight are against Chiefs getting “special treatment”, especially when compared to previous incidents.
In January, GladAfrica Championship (second tier) side Cape Umoya United were a no-show for their match against Cape Town Spurs due to a spike in Covid-19 cases within the squad. And they lost out on the three points, losing the match by 3-0.
Furthermore, it’s not only Chiefs who are battling with Covid-19 at the moment, especially after the discovery of the new variant, Omicron.
SuperSport United might have to play a young team against Stellenbosch FC today.
With the new variant yet to hit its peak, the league season could go into further disarray this month, which is why the PSL might have to act now in order to save the rest of the season.