World football governing body FIFA has added its voice to the ongoing saga regarding the delay to restart the 2019/20 Premier Soccer League campaign.
In a response to SAFA about the “organisation of the remaining matches” for the season that was halted back in mid-March due to the Coronavirus outbreak, FIFA told the country’s football motherbody that it was flexible on when it can be concluded.
SAFA had initially written to FIFA to provide them with a date for the resumption of the balance of the season, which they pencilled down for August 1 and have said they anticipate will end around the second week of September.
However, the PSL is yet to confirm that it accepts the new date proposed by SAFA having wanted to restart on July 18.
But there were still issues of compliance for the return to play and referees were not yet tested for both Covid-19 and their fitness, SAFA said at the time.
“FIFA has given SAFA the mandate to amend the start of the PSL next season (2020/2021) and this may require the association to amend the registration periods provided in the Transfer Management System (TMS),” read a statement on the motherbody’s website.
"Part of the letter from FIFA to SAFA reads: “As such, the association concerned should extend the end date of the of the ongoing season in the TMS, to reflect the match schedule. This may also require the association to amend the registration periods provided in the TMS.”
It means that the world football governing body has left the decision to its member association, SAFA, to make the call on the resumption of the current season and the start of the next one, though this has been complicated by the fact that SAFA has to work hand in hand with the PSL and so far they’ve been pulling in opposite directions.
Reacting to the letter from FIFA, the acting CEO of SAFA, Tebogo Motlanthe, said: “We are glad with the clarification we got from FIFA and we have already started preparation of the referees. They will arrive at the camp in batches and I want to assure everyone that the match officials will be ready, come 1 August 2020 when the PSL kicks off,” said Motlanthe.
SAFA said it will cover the costs and of match officials for transport, accommodation and Covid-19 testing, but the PSL is expected to continue to pay for their service as normal.
The PSL is expected to host its board of governors meeting on Friday to decide a way forward.
Story by @superjourno
Check out the 13 players on Kaizer Chiefs' wishlist when the new season does start