Picture: 123RF/BOWIE 15
Picture: 123RF/BOWIE 15

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) is waiting for the government to give the go-ahead for teams to start training.

PSL acting CEO Mato Madlala said the league submitted its protocols for teams to resume training‚ as permitted for contact sports under level 3 of the national lockdown‚ late last week.

The PSL is believed to have submitted a plan that covers all aspects for a return to training within the lockdown regulations that is based on international models of leagues that have returned to play‚ and includes all the elements of testing‚ sanitisation and quarantining required by the government.

The rules gazetted last Thursday allow for non-contact sports to return to play and contact sports to go back to training under stringent conditions.

“We’ve got the return to training protocols that we have submitted to the minister‚ and we wait for them to say ‘we are happy with your protocols‚ and you can then start’‚” Madlala said.

The return to training paves the way for professional football — suspended on March 16 — to resume.

Asked when the PSL expects a response from the department‚ Madlala said: “The regulations say we have to give them 14 days‚ but it can happen at any time.”

Some clubs have become compliant in the meantime on sanitisation‚ testing and quarantining of players‚ in anticipation of the go-ahead‚ and would apparently be able to resume training almost immediately on receiving the green light.

The PSL is believed to have followed and improved on the international models of leagues globally that have returned to play such as Germany’s Bundesliga‚ Spain’s La Liga and the English Premier League for the protocols for training to resume.

Internationally‚ clubs had to introduce individual player training first‚ then in small groups‚ then squad non-contact training‚ and ultimately contact training.

Under level 3 of the lockdown contact training remains prohibited in SA.