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PSL is fiddling while SA football burns

Dr Irvin Khoza, PSL Chairman during the Premier Soccer League press conference. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Dr Irvin Khoza, PSL Chairman during the Premier Soccer League press conference. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Published Dec 14, 2021

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Cape Town - It was a classic case of fiddling while Rome was burning!

At a time when every football fan was tuned into television with wide-eyed anticipation to hear what the Premier Soccer League has to say about burning issues that are unravelling the very fabric of local professional football, Irvin Khoza opted instead to bask in the glory of a new R1m competition.

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The rare PSL press conference, aired live on the pay channel, was an anti-climax of preposterous proportions!

The press conference was held against a backdrop of widescale speculation that the PSL would finally enlighten the football fraternity about highly contentious issues like Kaizer Chiefs' two no-shows for Premiership matches even though the opposition sides, match officials and television crews were all dutifully at hand for a kick-off.

The football fraternity are still in the dark about the reasons behind the sudden departures of the PSL head of legal Michael Murphy resigned and PSL prosecutor Nande Becker followed suit a few days later.

There are some more festering Premiership issues that the PSL would have done well to shed light on. Surely, it would have also made the Premiership sponsors very happy, and they would have admired the PSL's transparency.

What has gone before would have been damaging to the reputation of professional football but as it turns out the PSL and DStv, the backers of the Premiership, are as ever, comfortable bedfellows.

In fact, the DStv are so enamoured with the PSL they are backing the new Compact Cup tournament in which the winner will take home one million rands.

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ALSO READ: There must be something rotten in the state of the PSL to have triggered sudden departures

There was nothing to suggest that the Chief Executive Officer for Multichoice South Africa Nyiko Shiburi was a worried man when he acclaimed the new event with the PSL as a partner.

“We are truly excited to be creating such a powerful fan and club interaction platform in the DStv Compact Cup," said Shiburi. "We trust this to be a true game-changer for South African football as it affords all fans of the 16 member clubs of the PSL an equal voice, while also challenging them to occupy the coach’s seat and lead their stars from the safety and comfort of their homes.”

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ALSO READ: Kaizer Chiefs Covid-19 saga: PSL exco meeting to decide what’s ’best for the clubs’

Khoza was thrilled that his organization had come up with the concept of the Compact Cup.

“This is yet another amazing innovation," said Khoza. "It will be refreshing that the responsibility of team selection, technical team and name choice will reside with the fans.

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"The roles are now reversed, and we will come out better informed about the fans’ understanding of player chemistry through their team selections.”

Khoza touched briefly on the Chiefs saga and said the PSL was attending to the matter.

“I think it is very important you know that the public obviously expects a response from the league on the matter that affects Kaizer Chiefs and the other teams that were participating in those fixtures,” said Khoza.

“I think it’s very important to note that it is not an easy matter. It is a matter that was dealt with by the football department and was escalated to the executive.

“It requires a lot of attention to detail to make the judication on this matter. It must be given a thorough process and evaluation because it talks about issues that are very interesting. You know we are a rules-based organization.

“Everything is easy because you just refer to the rules, compare the manual or the handbook for an answer. There are situations that require us to apply our minds, especially on a matter that’s got a lot of debate on rules, and livelihoods.”

@Herman_Gibbs

IOL Sport

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