PSL pushes pause on football

PSL chairperson Irvin Khoza has announced that all league games scheduled for this week and the weekend have been postponed. A board of governors meeting has been scheduled for Thursday to decide on a long-term response to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The league gathered on Monday afternoon for an emergency executive committee meeting in response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s national briefing the previous evening. After Ramaphosa’s ban on gatherings that exceed 100 people, it was almost a given that football in the country would not carry on as usual.

Yet Khoza was unable to clear up the muddy waters ahead. He said the league will meet with government officials and health experts to help inform the crucial meeting taking place on Thursday. For now, the suspended games include what would have been a crucial tie between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates.

Aside from the actual matches being put on halt, Khoza said the clubs would not be discouraged from training and usual preparations.

Minutes before the briefing, the SA Football Association released a statement advising all its members to postpone all footballing activities until further notice, including those played behind closed doors.


“Some of the football authorities elsewhere in the world have taken measures such as playing matches in ‘empty’ stadiums without spectators. This response has not proven to be effective in minimizing the spread of the virus,” the statement read. “In Europe, some players who were participating in matches ‘behind closed doors’ have recently been found to be positive. Therefore, we do not believe that the practice of playing behind closed doors is effective.

Most major football leagues around the world have postponed action since Covid-19 was declared a pandemic. As the crisis escalates, difficult questions about what to do with the stalled competitions are expected to intensify.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Luke Feltham
Luke Feltham

Luke Feltham runs the Mail & Guardian's sports desk. He was previously the online day editor.

Related stories

Richard Calland: Not much has shuffled in the political pack

Stocktake at the end of a momentous year shows that the ruling party holds all the cards but has little room for manoeuvre

Tighter Covid restrictions for N. Mandela Bay — other hotspots may follow

With the number of cases spiralling out of control in hotspots in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape, longer curfews and restrictions on alcohol sales are being implemented

Watch it again: Ramaphosa addresses the nation

The president's address follows a special sitting of Cabinet, which considered recommendations of the National Coronavirus Command Council

Excess deaths rise, starting in Covid hotspot Eastern Cape

As the pandemic’s second wave spreads through the country, the number of excess deaths increases too

The edutech sector is set to see a boom

Mobile data costs need to come down or edutech sites be zero-rated, though

Corruption forces health shake-up in Gauteng

Dr Thembi Mokgethi appointed as new health MEC as premier seeks to stop Covid-19 malfeasance
Advertising

Subscribers only

FNB dragged into bribery claims

Allegations of bribery against the bank’s chief executive, Jacques Celliers, thrown up in a separate court case

Dozens of birds and bats perish in extreme heat in...

In a single day, temperatures in northern KwaZulu-Natal climbed to a lethal 45°C, causing a mass die-off of birds and bats

More top stories

Carlos on Oozymandias’ goodbye grift

"Look on my works ye Mighty, and gimme 50 bucks!"

This is how the SIU catches crooks

Athandiwe Saba talked to the Special Investigating Unit’s Andy Mothibi about its caseload, including 1 000 Covid contracts

Richard Calland: Not much has shuffled in the political pack

Stocktake at the end of a momentous year shows that the ruling party holds all the cards but has little room for manoeuvre

Tighter Covid restrictions for N. Mandela Bay — other hotspots...

With the number of cases spiralling out of control in hotspots in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape, longer curfews and restrictions on alcohol sales are being implemented
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…