Coronavirus: Khoza confirms talks with government over resumption of PSL season

11:50 AM WAT 02/05/2020
PSL Chairman Dr Irvin Khoza, March 2020
South African fans will know after Thursday's meeting between the league and the country's relevant authorities if football will return

PSL chairman Dr Irvin Khoza has confirmed talks between the league and the South African government over the resumption of the 2019/20 season. 

The season is currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, and with the country on Level 4 lockdown, teams are still not allowed to return to the training pitch and therefore matches cannot be played until it is safe to do so. 

According to Khoza, Fifa has issued a directive for football to go ahead but he said there is a condition attached to it, that the leagues must be given permission by their respective government departments of health.  

"Fifa has issued a directive providing the green light for the resumption of leagues around the world. The directive extended the 2019/20 season by a month from June 30 to July 31," Khoza told Independent Media.  

"Remember, the season was supposed to end on the 30th of June 2020. This Fifa directive gives one condition to the resumption of the league - that the leagues must obtain a go-ahead from their respective government departments of health," Khoza said.

"The PSL is in discussion at the moment with the Minister and other relevant authorities to ensure Fifa’s condition is met and we can work on the plans for the resumption of the league," he continued.

Khoza said there are two burning issues that need to be discussed with the Minister of Health by May 7 but he wasn't in a position to go into details. 

"There are two factors that are now urgent. We engaged the Minister on Thursday and the executive committee is looking at the 7th (of May to meet the Minister again). So, we must respond to him about issues that we need to deal with in terms of the discussion.

"There are things that we need to provide in our meeting on the 7th of May. The executive committee will revert to the Minister on the ongoing discussions," he confirmed.  

The 72-year-old didn't want to be drawn into what may possibly happen to the 2019/20 PSL season, saying a statement will be issued after next Thursday's meeting with the government authorities. 

“We can’t even discuss that because there’s a task team that is going to be part of the meeting on the 7th (of May). It is only after that meeting that somebody can comment. Whatever we have to do we have to follow the instructions of Fifa.

"Whether we resume in two months' time, three months' time or five months' time or six months - the government and its departments must give us the go-ahead. That's why we are engaging the Minister on this matter. After the meeting on the 7th of May, we will issue a statement," concluded Khoza.