Ben Motshwari has tested positive for the coronavirus. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
Ben Motshwari has tested positive for the coronavirus. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

People need football to survive, says Orlando Pirates' Floyd Mbele

By Minenhle Mkhize Time of article published May 11, 2020

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DURBAN - The PSL has been brought to a grinding halt by the coronavirus and the South African Government has stipulated that the Absa Premiership - and all other sporting activities for that matter - can only return when the country is on Level 1 of the lockdown.

The PSL and the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture met last week to find common ground regarding the resumption of the league. Floyd Mbele, the Orlando Pirates administrative manager, wants football to be treated like businesses.

One of Pirates' player's, midfielder Ben Motshwari, tested positive for Covid-19 last week.

“In Germany, they see football as a business and here in South Africa we treat it as social or part time (activity). We don’t understand that there’s money involved in this business. The sooner we think that football is like any other business, the better,” Mbele said.

Last year the PSL earned R1billion in revenue for the financial year. The organisation generates revenue from sponsors and broadcast partners.

“How is football different from running an Edgars store? You’ve got customers and you are selling a product,” Mbele added.

“Customers can go to Gateway Mall (in Umhlanga in Durban) and they are trading. There’s also risk at these stores. You go there and you try and see if something you want to buy fits you, and if it doesn’t you leave it and another person comes and touches that product.

“People need football to survive. If the government was giving us money like other African countries where football is run through the government and there were no sponsors, all of us can manage to wait until November but we can’t.”

It is not yet clear when the PSL will resume, but if it does, it is set to be played behind closed doors.

The PSL is planning to centralise league and Cup action if the government does give them the green light to resume. All the games are likely to be played in Gauteng.

@Minenhlecr7

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