Irvin Khoza touts Gauteng as venue to complete PSL season
League chair proposes the province as the site of a biologically safe camp to finish the season
The Premier Soccer League (PSL) has proposed Gauteng as the venue for the “bio-bubble” camp for closed-doors matches to complete the 2019/2020 Premiership season‚ and next weekend as the date for the resumption of the league.
The PSL suspended matches more than 100 days ago due to the outbreak of Covid-19. The league’s chair, Irvin Khoza, made these suggestions to all the clubs during a virtual board of governors meeting on Thursday, it is understood.
The proposed venue for the tournament being discussed — with all 16 PSL teams based in a biologically safe environment in a single city — is Gauteng‚ with kickoff on July 19.
The priority is to complete the PSL at all costs but there is a proposal that the National First Division (NFD) end where the log standings are, with leaders Ajax Cape Town promoted.
This means there will be no relegation from the NFD, with second-placed Moroka Swallows and third-placed Uthongathi FC qualifying to go into the promotion and relegation play-offs with the team that finishes second last in the PSL.
These issues are subject to approval by the government and the SA Football Association (Safa), which must provide referees.
Most teams returned to training this week or late last week as each was approved on an individual basis by the PSL as having become compliant with the government-approved league directive on measures such as sanitisation and Covid-19 testing.
The July 19 kickoff for the closed-doors return to football in a biologically safe environment would mean most teams would have had just two weeks’ training ahead of the matches. This could raise concerns of injuries to players‚ who were training largely housebound‚ especially during the earlier‚ more stringent stages of the national lockdown.
Fifa apparently does not have an August 31 deadline to the 2019/2020 season‚ so long as the global body is informed of an extension beyond that. PSL clubs‚ however‚ are believed to have negotiated contract extensions to the end of August for players whose terms were ending in June.
Kaizer Chiefs lead the Premiership by four points‚ though they have played a game more than second-placed defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns.
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