Safa: There will be no football, our decision is final

SA Football Association president Danny Jordaan has declared there will be no football played in South Africa until at least April 4 due to the Coronavirus. 

The decision should settle the speculation over the fate of the PSL that has been rife in the early days of this week. The league was forced to suspend upcoming games in light of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ban on gatherings of over 100 people and a board of governors meeting was scheduled on Thursday to discuss the possibility of continuing to play behind closed doors.

In a meeting with sport stakeholders on Tuesday afternoon, Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa seemed to encourage the idea of going ahead. He said as long as stringent guidelines are followed in accordance with the Disaster Management Act, the positive influence of sport continuing outweighs the minimal risk his department calculates with having no spectators.

In response, Jordaan has come out and laid down the law. Safa, and no one else, is in charge of football in the country he said on Wednesday afternoon from Safa House. They, in turn, operate under Caf and Fifa statutes – both of which have discouraged the beautiful game from continuing in areas that face a Covid-19 threat. He said he will write to the governing bodies informing them of the decision. 

Before and during the consultation with Mthethwa on Tuesday, Safa had made clear its view that closed-door football has been proven to be inefficient in combating the spread of Covid-19. Multiple leagues attempted to press on only to later postpone footballing activity when players and staff began to test positive for the virus.

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Luke Feltham
Luke Feltham is a features writer at the Mail & Guardian

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