SAFA has on Tuesday afternoon outlined the next step regarding the return to play protocol, while very much keeping its special member – the Premier Soccer League – on edge.
A day after PSL chairman Irvin Khoza told journalists that the key to complete the balance of the 2019/20 season was in the mother body’s hands, it now seems there is a compromise between the bodies.
The July 18 restart date proposed by the league, however, looks unlikely. SAFA remain adamant that referees need another two weeks to undergo Covid-19 testing and be fully fit to officiate all outstanding games in the Absa Premiership and the GladAfrica Championship.
In a statement on their website on Tuesday, SAFA wrote:
- According to the Referees Sub-Committee of the Technical Committee, the first week of August 2020 is the appropriate date for the commencement of NSL matches.
- The choice of Gauteng Province as the host of training and match venues, as well as hotels, was agreed to by the government and NSL and that SAFA had no input to this process.
- The 110 match officials will be subjected to medical and mandatory fitness test. The medical examination specifically entails testing for covid-19 and those who test negative would be required to undergo a mandatory 14-day fitness test under the guidance of the FIFA approved fitness trainer. A FIFA fitness consultant participated in the discussion.
- The fitness trainer initially wanted a three-week fitness period but both parties mutually agreed on an accelerated period of training of two weeks in order to meet the beginning of August commencement date
In the meantime, once the Compliance Officers have completed their report, it will be submitted to the government to gazette on the return to play date.
The world football government body, FIFA has accepted that it is the government responsibility to approve the return to play date and we will update FIFA on the progress achieved.
The PSL board of governors also met early on Tuesday to deliberate their own way forward, but will be encouraged by the statement from SAFA as there was an insinuation the motherbody were halting any progress made in planning a restart.
Story by @superjourno
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