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PSL declines request by Covid-hit Kaizer Chiefs to postpone their December games

FILE - The PSL have announced that they have formally declined a request by Kaizer Chiefs to postpone all of their DStv Premiership matches during December. Photo: @KaizerChiefs/Twitter

FILE - The PSL have announced that they have formally declined a request by Kaizer Chiefs to postpone all of their DStv Premiership matches during December. Photo: @KaizerChiefs/Twitter

Published Dec 20, 2021


Cape Town — The Premier Soccer League (PSL) on Monday afternoon announced that it has formally declined a request by Kaizer Chiefs to postpone all their DStv Premiership matches during December.

At the start of December, Chiefs informed the PSL that 31 people (players, technical and support staff) tested positive for Covid-19 at a time when Gauteng was hit by a fourth wave of the pandemic after the discovery of the highly contagious Omicron variant.

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As a result, Chiefs were unable to field a team and their base at Naturena was closed down. Chiefs felt that would be unable to fulfil fixtures against Cape Town City, Golden Arrows, Sekhukhune United and Royal AM. As it turned out, Chiefs again informed the PSL that it was unable to play against City and Arrows.

Chiefs' statement at the time read: “As a result of this outbreak that has seen no less than 31 people tested positive for Covid-19, the Kaizer Chiefs Village is temporarily closed until next week.

“Given the situation, the medical team have conducted contact tracing of primary contacts of those who tested positive and have instructed all players, members of the technical team and staff, including those who tested negative, who are primary contacts to quarantine as per Covid protocols.

“The Club has written to the Premier Soccer League to request for a postponement of the five upcoming games in December against Cape Town City (4 December), Golden Arrows (8 December), Sekhukhune FC (12 December), Royal AM (19 December) and Maritzburg United (22 December) to avoid the risk of infection and further spread of the virus and allow those affected to recover and complete their quarantine period before they can play against other teams.

“We view this as a case of force majeure as what the Club is experiencing as a consequence of Covid and the protocols it is obliged to implement, is totally beyond the control of the Club. The Club does not at the moment have sufficient players or a technical team to constitute a team. We have appealed to the League to seriously consider the matter for the sake of everyone’s health and safety because there are many other people involved in organising a game.

“The team will be closely monitored by our medical team, while we continue to maintain Covid risk mitigation protocols. We urge supporters to take care of themselves and follow all the Covid protocols. Well wishes and speedy recovery to all those affected."

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On Monday the PSL finally declared its decision to decline Chiefs' request and issued a statement which read: “On the 2nd of December 2021, Kaizer Chiefs Football Club wrote to the Premier Soccer League (PSL) requesting ’the postponement of all our matches for December 2021’.

“The PSL Football Department declined the application.

“Kaizer Chiefs referred the Football Department’s decision to the NSL Executive Committee for reconsideration and asked that the Executive Committee accedes to the club’s request for the postponement of the club’s ’remaining fixtures for December.’

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“The Executive Committee afforded Kaizer Chiefs a full opportunity to provide information in support of their request. Among other things Kaizer Chiefs were asked to demonstrate, why: despite NSL Circulars no 12 of 2020; 24 of 2020; and 11 of 2021; exceptional circumstances existed to postpone all Kaizer Chiefs matches for December in this instance.

“During its deliberations on the matter the Executive Committee has taken the advice of Senior Counsel; has obtained input from the League Chief Medical Officer, and has considered representations from those potentially affected by the Football Department’s decision including Kaizer Chiefs.

“Having exhaustively considered all aspects of the matter, and the information provided, the Executive Committee today resolved that Kaizer Chiefs has not established a basis to reverse the decision of the Football Department.

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“The decision of the Football Department stands and the request to postpone Kaizer Chief’s matches for December 2021 has been declined.

“The PSL will host a press conference on the 5th of January 2022. The League will not be available to comment further until then.”

In the light of this decision, Chiefs will not be able to recover the points for the two games they did not play and the points will be awarded to their opponents, City and Arrows.

Chiefs will likely appeal the decision and if they have half the tenacity that rivals Royal AM have shown in adversity, there could be a protracted legal wrangle ahead in the new year.


IOL Sport