Covid-19: Should Kaizer Chiefs and PSL teams be more transparent?

15:39 SAST 2021/12/04
Khama Billiat Kaizer Chiefs Bernard Parker Mashiane
Amakhosi's decision comes in the midst of an increase in the daily number of reported positive Covid-19 cases in South Africa over the past few days

Kaizer Chiefs' decision to pull out of Saturday evening's showdown with Cape Town City at the FNB Stadium raises a number of questions.

It was on Friday morning that Amakhosi first announced publicly their intention not to partake in the match against Cape Town City on Saturday.

"More personnel tested positive this week as we were preparing for Saturday’s game," a Chiefs statement on Friday read.

"As a result of this outbreak that has seen no less 31 people test positive for Covid-19, the Kaizer Chiefs Village is temporarily closed until next week."

Thirty-one positive cases are a large number. But the thing is, Chiefs did not stipulate how many of the 31 were players. Or how many were integral technical team members.

It would surely have been better in the interest of transparency that more details were given.

Now, fans and the public are being left to speculate as to whether maybe it was only a few of the club's most important players who tested positive, or whether in fact the positive cases were enough to fill two whole teams of 11 players.

It could well be that it's a very high percentage of Amakhosi first-teamers who are positive, but the thing is, we don't know because we're not being told.

Of course, Chiefs may also need to be praised for taking precautions in the name of safety, not only for their own people, but for anyone who may be involved in any way in their forthcoming games.

That still does not explain the need for secrecy surrounding how many players and how many coaches or admin members are positive.

And it's not only Chiefs who prefer to keep such matters quiet, it's most of the PSL clubs who take this approach and we rarely hear of players being named. Sometimes we’re told a player is ‘ill’ - possibly or probably meaning he’s Covid positive.

This is unlike overseas, where in leagues such as England, there is far more openness over the players' Covid-19 status.

The South African clubs may claim that it's in order to respect the privacy of the individuals.

But surely that's a way of stigmatizing Covid-19? As far as the public goes, it makes sense for people to be honest and open about their Covid-19 status in order to help prevent others from catching it.

In that respect, the veil of secrecy from the PSL clubs over players testing positive does not really seem to make sense on a societal level.