The PSL set to finish 'in bio-bubble in one province'
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DURBAN - The Premier Soccer League (PSL) has confirmed that a national camp based in one province will conclude the league, although dates for the resumption of the action are still being finalised.
In an interview with Independent Media, PSL chairman Irvin Khoza said the season will be wound up with a national camp to make sure government's health protocols are met.
“Finishing the season in one province is our best option. We have to control the environment because the risk is all over at the moment. We are doing our best to create an environment that will minimise the risk.
"What we are doing is what we call a medically justifiable approach where players will be placed in a suitable environment that will stop any interaction with the people not involved in the game,” Khoza explained.
Cricket have proposed a similar set-up called a bio-bubble - it is where a venue is chosen with all the amenities that will be used by the teams, such as training fields, playing grounds, accommodation and health facilities until the games are over.
The league was approaching its climax when it was halted by the coronavirus outbreak three months ago.
“You will go to the training and then come back to the same place that we will choose. If you don’t come back after training you won’t be allowed to go back,” explained Khoza.
“We are doing everything possible because if you leave home and go to work (training), it is a risk. If you go to shops, it is another risk. But if you are in that environment, you won’t go to shops, you will be kept in one place. That way we will not increase risk of infection,” Khoza detailed.
The process is expected to be preceded by testing of the players, referees and staff, and a quarantine period.
The PSL action has been on pause since mid-March. Other leagues around the globe are returning to action but matches are being played behind closed doors.
Limpopo and North West have been reported as ideal centres to finish the league because of low numbers of positive coronavirus cases in these provinces.
“It could be any province. We are talking to few provinces at the moment. They are offering options. There’s a committee that has been chosen to monitor that. They are dealing with that. The committee will meet again on Friday (today),” Khoza said.
The PSL has two weeks to inform Fifa about when they plan to finish the season.
Khoza explained that the requirements are stringent at Fifa and government levels.
“It is not only about levels of the lockdown. There are other deadlines that we have to meet. Fifa doesn’t talk about levels of lockdown but it talks about the calendar. If we haven’t finished this calendar, it is a problem. We have to inform Fifa by the end of this month as to when are we resuming our activities.
"Fortunately, the minister (Nathi Mthethwa) is aware of those deadlines. That’s why we had to submit our training programme. They understand the urgency of the matter and timeline of our deadlines."