Safa’s acting chief executive Tebogo Motlanthe. Picture: BackpagePix
Safa’s acting chief executive Tebogo Motlanthe. Picture: BackpagePix

Safa wants to finish the current football season

By Minenhle Mkhize Time of article published Jul 23, 2020

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DURBAN - Speculation is mounting that the PSL season may be called off - but Safa’s bosses say they will be “very surprised” if such a move takes place.

The PSL Board of Governors (BoG) will be meeting with the executive committee on Friday to decide whether the Premiership can resume.

But in another development yesterday, Safa received a letter from Fifa indicating that they can extend the current season, which was scheduled to end next month.

In a media conference with the South African Football Journalists Association (Safja) yesterday afternoon, Safa’s acting chief executive Tebogo Motlanthe said: “It will come as a surprise from us (if the league was to be cancelled). We’ve all agreed, we’ve all worked hard for four months. It will mean all that work will be going down the drain. It will be a surprise.

“The position of the association is that the league needs to be played to a finish. We’ve made that plea in many meetings.

“When we started we suggested play can resume on level one but if there are safety measures and the government is happy, we are also happy for the league to start now (under level three).

“Our intention is to see the league starting but not ignoring the basic fact that we need to save lives. The pressure should not lead us to do wrong things. As long as things are done in a right way, the South African Football Association is very clear: we need football to resume, and we need lives to be saved,” Motlanthe said.

Safa have suggested the first week of August as an appropriate date for the resumption of football.

“We want to maintain the standard of the league. It shouldn’t decline because of Covid-19 but we need to give respect to the lives of the people who are participating in this game.

“We are still keen to meet with the PSL. On Monday, we wrote them a letter requesting for a meeting. We didn’t get a response,” Motlanthe said.

If the 2019/20 league season is declared null and void, Kaizer Chiefs will miss out on an opportunity to campaign in the CAF Champions League.

“We are lucky that our president (Danny Jordaan) is on the executive committee of CAF. In countries where the league has not been completed, like Nigeria and other countries, those who represented their country in the previous edition will then become the representative.

“If the decision is that the league is scrapped, Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates will go back to the Champions League,” Motlanthe said.

Regarding the proposed ‘bio bubble’, Motlanthe said: “The first batch of referee’s should be arriving tomorrow so that we can start with their medical tests.”

He added that the contracts of the players would not be affected by the end date of the League.

“In terms of the players’ contracts, once you extend the registration period, those players become eligible for their teams up until the league comes to conclusion. The letter from Fifa also makes a special reference to that,” Motlanthe explained.


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