Caf dates could give PSL headache next season
Premier Soccer League (PSL) officials are facing a potential fixture nightmare in the coming season after they were forced to finalise the new schedule without knowing the dates of the Caf Champions League and Confederation Cup.
Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates have qualified for the Champions League while Bidvest Wits and National First Division (NFD) side Galaxy‚ who qualified after they won the Nedbank Cup in May‚ will take part in the Confederation Cup.
The PSL officials have no idea when Sundowns‚ Pirates‚ Wits and Galaxy are going to play their games away from home as the Confederation of African Football (Caf) are yet to avail the dates.
“They know when these Champions League and Confederation Cup matches are going to be played but the problem is that they don’t know when each team will be playing away from home‚” said a PSL club officials with an intimate knowledge of the Caf fixture schedule.
“This gives them a headache because you may have noticed last season that when Sundowns had a Champions League away match‚ they were fixtured on Monday or even Tuesday by the PSL.
"That was to ensure that they have time to fly out on maybe Wednesday or Thursday.
"You may remember that at some stage‚ Sundowns flew immediately after a league match at Loftus.
"It is not ideal but it is the reality of the situation and they will deal with it as and when those situations arise.”
The PSL programme will also be negatively affected by fixtures of the SA-under 23 team if they qualify for the summer Olympic Games in Tokyo between July and August next year.
“We haven’t received any of the Caf drawn up fixtures yet‚ so we have produced a calendar and we provided optional dates to make up for the competition‚” said PSL scheduling consultant Daniel Ferreira.
“With regards to the U23 question‚ we also have not received any confirmation of fixtures about that and we have optional dates.
"We will see as the season progress.
“When we draw a fixture list‚ what we do first is to take a skeleton and embed it into the calendar dates for all the national associations competitions.
"We sent it to them so that they are sure that we have covered the competitions according to the calendar of Caf and Fifa."