Highlands Park coach Owen Da Gama says he is sure the government and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) will “make the right call” on the immediate future of domestic football matches given the global coronavirus pandemic.
The PSL executive committee was locked in an urgent meeting on Monday after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national emergency on Sunday.
A precaution declared by Ramaphosa that will affect all professional sport was a prohibition on gatherings of 100 or more. The PSL is expected to announce that matches be played in empty stadiums‚ or that the league competition is suspended, as has already happened in other countries.
Da Gama was asked after his team’s 1-0 extra-time Nedbank quarterfinal defeat against Mamelodi Sundowns at a packed Makhulong Stadium on Saturday what he felt the best move should be for domestic professional football given the coronavirus pandemic.
“I don’t know enough about that. But I think once it goes from an epidemic to a pandemic it becomes a problem. The authorities will sit down and take note of that and take a decision‚” Highlands’ coach said.
“I’m becoming paranoid‚ to be honest with you. I mean I feel it for the crowd‚ I feel it for everybody. But I’m sure the authorities will look at it deeply and make the right call.”
Most immediately‚ the PSL will have to decide if its two big title-influencing Premiership matches this week go ahead‚ or are played in closed stadiums.
Second-placed defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns are scheduled to meet third-placed Orlando Pirates at Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday night. Log-leaders Kaizer Chiefs are set to meet sixth-placed title outsiders Bidvest Wits at FNB Stadium on Wednesday night.
The PSL said it would make an announcement soon on the outcome of its meeting.