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PSL Chairmen Open Up: It's Time The Fans Come Back

After spectactors were given an opportunity to watch Bafana Bafana live earlier this week, DStv Premiership club chairmen feel that the PSL should urgently get fans back into stadiums.

Topflight football has not seen any supporters at a stadium since March 2020 and the PSL have not shown any urgency to have fans return to watch live matches. 

Various football stakeholders spoke to the Siya crew about why they feel supporters should urgently return to the stadium.

JOHN COMITIS - Cape Town City Chairman

"To keep motivating players to play at a place that's like a ghost town is very difficult. You can see that already in the results. Some very odd results have been happening on an ongoing basis. I think the fans definitely play a role, especially when you are at home. I think it's time for the fans to come back. We now all know how to manage Covid. We have the protocols in place and we have the space in the big World Cup stadiums to allow the distance and to have a reasonable number of fans. I think it's time the fans came back. The business of football is about fans. 

"Eventually the sponsors are going to say, 'this is not the real thing, where are the fans?' While they are supporting us now, but there is a point where they might review things and ask if this is what they signed up for. I think the time is now. We made the first breakthrough and we should continue to persevere to try increase it to a reasonable number. The first step is to obviously get the 2000 (supporters) and we manage the protocols and procedures properly, so that we don't falter on the safety of the fans. Thereafter, it will be about increasing the numbers in a safe environment. It's happening all over the world, so we should be allowed the opportunity."

TIM SUKAZI - TS Galaxy Chairman

"As a football fan, for starters, I would want to see fans returning to the stadiums on a rather urgent basis. The playing of games with supporters at stadiums has had an impact on the game itself, let alone to all clubs. Some clubs used to generate some revenue from the attendance of fans at the stadium. So, with that aside, it's been a hell of a struggle for many clubs. We want to see fans back at the stadium and I am glad the Ministry came to sound mind in relation to this matter. It did not make sense that people were allowed to gather in their two thousands and yet fans are not allowed at the stadium where we would observe even better Covid-19 measures and protocals. Fans attended the Bafana Bafana game on Tuesday and we have not heard anything untoward, thus far. 

"Let's hope they do, because otherwise it defies logic. I do appreciate the the fact that the frequency of PSL games is much different to the national team, but that argument does not hold much water because a game is a game, a stadium is a stadium. We also should not behave like we used to fill up the stadiums. There are many clubs that would not have 1000 fans. They would struggle." 

KHURISHI MPHAHLELE - Baroka Chairman

"It very important to have fans, because we play for them, without them it may be hard, even sponsors comes to the game for fans. Football is entertainment and we do it for supporters. 

"It has been frustrating, you know what we get from tickets sales. It makes a huge difference to deal with administration stuff, so without that we have to find other means to get extra cash. 

"We urge all supporters to vaccinate. We need them to meet us half way, so it can be easy to approach Government to allow us to do that."

FAROOK KADODIA - Maritzburg United Chairman

"We plead with government to allow fans into stadiums. We are nothing without supporters as football clubs," Kadodia said, speaking previously to the Siya crew

"This has been a very challenging period for us, financially and perfomance-wise. We need that motivation for players to perfom at their best. We've seen what Maritzburg United supporters have done in previous seasons, without them it has really affected us."

SINENJABULO ZUNGU - AmaZulu FC CEO

"For fans not coming to stadiums, it costs football clubs a lot of money, because that's how they make money.

"With fans coming to stadiums, they buy tickets and that is how revenue (is generated). If you don't have sponsors and rely on PSL support, it becomes hard, so without supporters it is (challenging) for clubs."

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