Safa to tell sports minister all football should be suspended indefinitely
The South African Football Association (Safa) are to brief Minister of Sports‚ Arts‚ Culture and Recreation Nathi Mthethwa on Tuesday on the impact of coronavirus on soccer and recommend the indefinite suspension of all football in the country.
In a statement Safa said they will brief the minister on the international and continental impact by the coronavirus pandemic on football.
Safa are also to brief Mthethwa on their “advice” made on Monday that all football in South Africa be indefinitely suspended.
The Premier Soccer League (PSL) – Safa’s professional wing –have thus far only suspended their Absa Premiership and GladAfrica Championship games for the coming week. This is pending a meeting of the PSL’s board of governors on Thursday.
The league have said they will ask the government for clarity on State President Cyril Ramaphosa’s national emergency‚ which includes a prohibition of gatherings of more than 100 people‚ with a view to determining if the PSL can play games behind closed doors.
Safa‚ however‚ are to recommend to the minister that closed-doors games have not been effective in spreading the virus.
Safa’s statement read: “SAFA will further brief the minister on the postponement of club football at all levels in the country. The association will brief the minister on the postponement of the Fifa congress and other international football-related engagements.
“The association said attempts to play football in empty stadiums was not achieving the desired results after three players in Serie A tested positive in the process.
“The positive-testing of players and coaches in Europe is a particular concern for Safa and these matters will be raised with the minister.”
The statement also said: “A Safa delegation led by its President Dr Danny Jordaan will be meeting with the Minister of Sports‚ Arts‚ Culture and Recreation‚ Nathi Mthethwa‚ today at his offices in Pretoria to give a report and update on the impact of the Coronavirus on football.
“At international level‚ the delegation will explain measures taken by Fifa‚ Uefa and leagues in Europe including the English Premier League‚ La Liga in Spain and Serie A in Italy as well as the Uefa Champions League.
“At the continental level‚ the Safa delegation will explain ...measures taken by the continental body‚ Caf in relation to senior men’s Afcon [Africa Cup of Nations] qualifiers for Cameroon 2021‚ the Fifa World Cup 2022 qualifiers‚ the Women’s Nations Cup 2020 and 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cupqualifiers‚ Tokyo Olympics in 2020 ... .
This week’s midweek PSL fixtures (Mamelodi Sundowns versus Orlando Pirates on Tuesday‚ and Kaizer Chiefs versus Bidvest Wits on Wednesday)‚ together with the coming weekend’s round of eight Premiership games‚ have been suspended by the PSL.
Safa have said all football should be suspended indefinitely.