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Coronavirus: No need to panic and postpone South African football - Safa

4:09 AM EDT 3/14/20
Danny Jordaan, Safa President
The coronavirus that has claimed thousands of lives around the globe has led to several leagues postponing matches

The South African Football Association (Safa) has reiterated it doesn't take the coronavirus lightly but insists it has full confidence in the country's health authorities. 

Safa released a statement that they will be guided by the government, their health department, Fifa as well as Caf in all the decisions they will be taking. 

While several leagues across Europe have been suspended, Safa is yet to make make a decision on whether or not to suspend all football-related activities. 

"We wish to acknowledge the Coronavirus is here with us. A number of cases have been reported by the Government and the Health Authorities. The sad news is that the number of people who have been affected by the virus is still growing at this stage. However, the positive news is that the disease is not an epidemic in our country as yet. We have full confidence in our Health Authorities. We have seen critical patients getting better after coming into contact with the virus," said Safa in the statement

"As the football family of South Africa, we are taking our cue from our Government, represented by the Department of Health and our football mother bodies, Fifa and Caf. We will be guided by these authorities in all the decisions that we will be taking."

"On our own, we have already taken measures to minimise travelling of our teams to severely affected areas. Last month, we withdrew our Olympic Team from participating in a friendly in Japan.
We have already developed precautionary measures for all our members, teams and clubs to use as a guideline to minimize contact with the virus. These measures have been posted on our website. We have also sent a circular to all our members advising them about the precautionary measure."

The country's FA also welcomed Caf's decision to postpone Afcon 2021 qualifiers later this month but confirmed the game between SA Girl's U17 and Zambia will go ahead as planned. 

"We welcome Caf’s decision to postpone all our matches during the 25 to 31 March 2020 period. This means that our senior men's national team, Bafana Bafana, will not be playing Sao Tome e Principe in two weeks. However, the Bantwana (Under 17 girls) match will continue as scheduled on the 14 March 2020 at Wits Stadium, Johannesburg.

"It is our considered view that there is no need to panic at this stage. The virus is not an epidemic yet. We are positive that the situation will improve rather than worsen. We believe that there is no need to either suspend or postpone the football program in the country at this stage. This position could change, pending the developments in the spread of the virus. We are reviewing the situation on a continuous basis."