South Africa’s elections give the Premier Soccer League a headache

08 March 2019 - 11:38 By Mark Gleeson
Lux September during the Nedbank Cup, Last 16 Draw at Multichoice Offices, Supersport Studio 6 on February 15, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Lux September during the Nedbank Cup, Last 16 Draw at Multichoice Offices, Supersport Studio 6 on February 15, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

The general election on May 8 is set to play further havoc with the Premier Soccer League’s fixtures with the penultimate round of the campaign now needing to be shifted to another date.

League officials‚ who caused controversy this week by allowing Orlando Pirates time off to prepare for their last Caf Champions League group game but not Mamelodi Sundowns‚ must find an alternate date for the entire block of fixtures on May 8 – the date the country goes to the polls.

This includes a clash between Cape Town City and Orlando Pirates at Cape Town Stadium‚ which could well be decisive in the title race – if current form continues.

The PSL has in recent years followed the example of the German Bundesliga and played all matches in the final two rounds simultaneously‚ to avoid any team having an advantage.

The last two rounds were set for Wednesday‚ May 8 and Saturday‚ May 11‚ with the Nedbank Cup final on May 18 bringing down the curtain on the 2018-19 season.

League officials say they are determined to stick to this deadline and must now move all the May 8 fixtures to another date.

It is likely to be Saturday‚ May 4‚ which has been left open on the fixture list in case either‚ or both‚ Pirates and Sundowns get to the Champions League semifinals.

A decision on this is to be made next week to allow clubs to timeously rebook match venues.

The PSL have battled all year to accommodate clubs competing in the African club competitions. They are likely to have it easier next season when the continental competitions kick off at the same time as the new domestic campaign‚ which will make for a less congested season.

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