Yes, local football is back! As the kids would say it’s been a minute (It has actually been 137 days, 3277 hours, 196667 minutes since the last PSL game was played but, who is counting?)
Your minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa doesn’t want you to get too excited about the return of the PSL though. He has promised to shut down the whole thing if teams don’t follow stringent measures outlined in the department’s Covid-19 protocol.
“It therefore means that those plans that they have submitted should be adhered to‚ it’s not a fait accompli that people will just get on the field and play‚” Mthethwa said.
“They will play based on the plans which were submitted to the department and we reserve the right to halt any activity if we feel and think that those protocols and plans are not adhered to.
“We are pleased that the department of health has concurred with the proposal for football to return to completing the season behind closed doors in a Biologically Safe Environment (BSE)‚ which is a closed environment of the procured hotels‚ the transport hubs‚ training grounds and stadiums.
“This is subject to the plans they have submitted and all other protocols as outlined in the regulations and directions published by the department.
“The compliance officers of both the SA Football Association and the Premier Soccer League will work together and ensure that all measures comply with the commitment made by the PSL in their submissions to government.
“We are expecting to receive the compliance officer’s report from Safa on the state of readiness for the NSL to resume play.”
Shutting down the PSL might be an idle threat by Minister Mthethwa. It may be a promise that his department won’t keep, lord knows that wouldn’t be the first time the government fails to deliver on a promise.
Politics aside, some teams, players, and even club executives have not taken the threat of Covid-19 as seriously as you might have hoped. We’ve heard rumors about Sundowns and Orlando Pirates breaking their own club protocols by going out drinking (I wonder where they are getting the alcohol, if one of you guys is reading this please let me know). We’ve seen certain club managers throwing parties at their residence during the lockdown…
Lockdown is for poor people. Bo Bobby ba bethile di party. pic.twitter.com/vbOye9bbjU
— Kgoshi Ya Lebowa (@Marcellomj) July 30, 2020
It would a shame for one team to mess it up for everybody else. The season is going to be done in 30 days. I’m sure players, managers, and staff can hold out for a little while longer till the 5th of September.
By @cheezfootball (the greatest footy journo on the internet)