Coronavirus News Africa

PSL season could be saved as government gives green light for return to training, play

Pitso Mosimane (Gallo Images)

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) received a major boost on Wednesday morning with the news that government has approved its plans for a return to training and play.  

It is not clear exactly when the 2019/20 season will resume, but in a statement released by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, it was confirmed that the PSL’s proposed safety regulations, which include testing and training and playing in a safe, sanitised environment, have been approved.

PSL clubs can now legally resume training. 

A date for the resumption of the 2019/20 league season, a department spokesperson told Sport24, will now be up to the PSL themselves, though the implementation of the proposed safety protocols will be monitored by members of government at all 16 PSL clubs when they get back to training. 

“The plans of the Premier Soccer League have been approved, considering the mitigation strategies and plans in relation to the Level 3 risk adjusted strategy in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic,” the statement read.

“The plans have further been subject to analysis by health authorities, the NICD (National Institute of Communicable Diseases) who have recommended that the measures put in place by the organisation meet and in some instances exceed the required protocol for a safe return to training and to play in a biologically safe environment.”

This follows an initial announcement from sports minister Nathi Mthethwa on 28 May where it was first confirmed that non-contact training could resume under Level 3 of South Africa’s nationwide coronavirus lockdown. 

“The different sport bodies are submitting their plans, indicating their state of readiness and the stringent health protocols they will implement in accordance with the prescribed regulations and directions,” the statement read. 

Over the past few days, coronavirus testing in the PSL has seen positive results come out of Kaizer Chiefs, Bloemfontein Celtic and Stellenbosch FC. 

Kaizer Chiefs are the current log leaders in the PSL, four points ahead of Mamelodi Sundowns in second. Sundowns and Wits have nine fixtures remaining this season – more than any of the other clubs. 

– Compiled by Sport24 staff

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