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Coronavirus: PSL suspends upcoming matches in South Africa with immediate effect

14:23 WAT 16/03/2020
PSL chairman Dr Irvin Khoza
The decision comes a day after national president Cyril Ramaphosa announced that gatherings of people more than 100 be prohibited

Following an urgent meeting that was called by the league on Wednesday, the PSL executive committee have decided to suspend all the matches that were supposed to take place this week and on the weekend due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

Addressing the media in Parktown, PSL chairman Dr. Irvin Khoza confirmed the news but said a proper decision what will happen after next weekend will be taken in Thursday's meeting of the board of governors and clubs. 

"We are gathered here because of the statement made by our honourable president," Khoza began. "The take-home for us as the executive of the PSL and football at large that the government has prohibited gatherings of people more than 100 which is a challenge that is posed to the PSL and everybody. 

"Firstly, the executive resolved that the games [that will be] played tomorrow and Wednesday be all suspended. And the games that will be played on the weekend are suspended.

"We also resolved that there will be an urgent meeting of the executive committee and the board of governors on Thursday, the 19th [of March] where we will be discussing these issues and canvassing and giving them information that's available to us because there are challenges that we are facing at this point in time but everything we are going to be discussing." 

Khoza further confirmed that the MultiChoice Diski Challenge will be suspended. 

"The league also took a decision that the Diski Challenge, on its own which is a separate thing, is discontinued immediately but the issue that face the league will be canvassed with the board of governors on Thursday," added Khoza.  

The PSL boss raised the prospect of the league being suspended beyond the coming week, although announced that he would confer with various stakeholders due to the complexity of the situation before making a decision.

"As we were discussing, somebody in our meeting said, 'let's suspend the season'," he continued. "The question that comes up [is], what happens to the promotion and relegation?

"What comes up is the play-off. What comes up is the question of travelling, essential travelling, and non-essential travelling. There are a lot of issues that are on the table.

"What is important as the board of governors together with the clubs, we are going to make a decision that's in the best interest of the country to make sure that we are acting in a responsible way but do things that are assisting the process because there are other grey areas that we want to clarify with the Minister [of Health] for us to be able to provide proper leadership."