It is not practical to expect PSL resumption before 1 August - Safa CEO Motlanthe

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Danny Jordaan and Lucas Nhlapo - Safa June 2020
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The governing body is against the idea of football resuming in July as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic

South African Football Association (Safa) chief executive officer Tebogo Motlanthe says it is not practical to expect the 2019/20 PSL season to resume in July 2020.

This comes after the PSL's acting chief executive Mato Madlala sent out a letter to Motlanthe, informing him of the decision by the league’s Board of Governors (BoG) during their meeting on Thursday.

The letter indicated PSL matches will take place in a biologically safe environment in Gauteng and the games are scheduled to start on Saturday, July 18 with football having been suspended in the country since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I would like to express utter surprise at the contents of the letter, coming as it does only a few hours after we agreed at our meeting today [at the request of the NSL] that we cannot conduct any substantive deliberations due to absence of Mr Murphy due to ill health,” Motlanthe told IOL.

PSL's compliance officer Michael Murphy has been ensuring that all 16 PSL clubs and 16 National First Division (NFD) teams undergo coronavirus testing protocols.

“The unilateral confirmation of training venues and the date for resumption on 18 July 2020 by NSL is against the spirit of our meeting and resolution of the Joint Liaison Committee," Motlanthe added.

"Sadly, it also undermines Minister (of Sport) Nathi Mathethwa’s directive that the association should play an overarching role in this matter.”

Motlanthe insists that football can only resume after August 1 and he also stressed the importance of match officials undergoing testing protocols.

“I wish to reiterate two critical factors we outlined at the meeting today (Friday): that we are committed to the resumption of play under safe conditions wherein the safety of players, team officials, match officials and other participants is not compromised,” he explained.

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“Secondly, that for the reasons outlined at the meeting and in the presentation, I have since sent you, it is not practical to expect the resumption of play before 1 August.

“It is for this reason that we agreed to invite the management of the referees’ department to our next meeting to outline their project timelines, which will then enable all of us to take informed, responsible decisions."

The PSL will hold a press conference on Monday, July 13 at 12pm regarding the resumption of the season.

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