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Lack of information causing a stench as PSL continues to sing Sound of Silence

PSL media officer Fhatuwani Mpfuni

FILE - PSL media officer Fhatuwani Mpfuni. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Published Dec 5, 2021

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Cape Town — The Premier Soccer League's conspiracy of silence is a damning indictment of the status quo.

On Friday, Kaizer Chiefs, the most storied club in the history of South Africa, informed that it has written twice to the PSL that it cannot fulfil its fixture against Cape Town City at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.

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Chiefs informed the PSL that it is reeling from a Covid-19 inflicted crisis that has infected 31 people (players and management. As a result, the club was unable to field a team.

ALSO READ: Cape Town City arrive for FNB clash despite Kaizer Chiefs forfeiting due to Covid-19

The PSL executive had their regular Friday meeting and would have received Chiefs' two items of correspondence. The public at least knows that because PSL executive member John Comitis shared that information in the public space. He is also the chairman of City and made it clear he was not commenting in his capacity as a PSL executive member.

He was responding to questions about City turning up for the match.

The only thing that follows Friday dramatic news that Chiefs can't field a team, perhaps for the first time in the history of SA professional football, is a grotesque silence by the PSL executive. It was reported in the media that City, the PSL match commissioner, match officials and SuperSport TV crew all turned up at the FNB Stadium.

ALSO READ: Cape Town City FC will be at FNB Stadium ... with or without Kaizer Chiefs

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What prevented the PSL from saying that Chiefs’ request for postponement was denied? What prevented the PSL from doing the honourable thing and informing City, the PSL match commissioner, match officials and SuperSport TV crew that the match will not take place.

Only Bertie Grobbelaar, managing director of Stadium Management SA, which manage the stadium, had the decency to respond to calls and said the venue will remain locked at the time of the fixture.

What prevented the PSL from saying to Chiefs, that in terms of the playing rules, as shown in the handbook, no team can request a postponement of a fixture for Covid-related reasons?

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ALSO READ: Kaizer Chiefs forfeit Saturday’s clash against Cape Town City due to Covid outbreak within squad

The PSL has already dealt with this matter in the past. Earlier this year, Cape Umoya failed to turn up for a GladAfrica match against CT Spurs after several players were laid low by Covid.

Spurs were awarded a 3-0 win and the PSL again said Covid-19 cannot be an excuse to postpone a game.

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There is also the case of GladAfrica Championship club Polokwane City forfeiting points after failing to adhere to the rule of five Under-23 players in their matchday squad. The club said their numbers were depleted because of the pandemic.

At the time, the PSL was asked at a subsequent court hearing: 'Would you have done this if it was one of the big clubs?' Well, it remains to be seen what the PSL will do. The PSL are also notorious for dragging their heels on issues and has never shown the capacity to switch to damage control mode.

Well, at this stage it is a matter of wait and see. True to form, the PSL has yet to shed light on the matter.

Recently, the PSL staged its annual general meeting, and again complete silence followed. A call to the PSL media officer Fhatuwani Mpfuni did not help either. The amiable fellow has the courtesy to answer his phone and he informs that he is not in a position to comment on most matters. He lives a charmed life as a media manager because his organization is on its chosen path of a conspiracy of silence.

On Sunday, the PSL prosecutor, Nande Becker, confirmed that he resigned from the post. For now, he too is remaining silent.

@Herman_Gibbs

IOL Sport

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