Only certain number of media will be allowed to attend the closed-doors matches when PSL matches resume
A certain number of media will be allowed to attend the closed-doors matches when the Premier Soccer League (PSL) resumes‚ but will be in a closed-off section of their own and will not come into contact with the players and support staff of the teams.
SA Football Association (Safa) chief medical officer Dr Thulani Ngwenya said in terms of the joint plan established with the PSL for a return to play‚ members of the written and radio media will not be allowed to enter the biologically safe environment (BSE).
A limited number will be able to attend matches‚ utilising a separate entrance and enclosed part of the stadium‚ and not coming into contact with the participating teams.
The Safa-PSL plan is for a BSE in one city outside a hotspot‚ where all the teams will be quarantined after undergoing testing and complete the 2019-20 season’s matches in closed-doors‚ sanitised stadiums.
Ngwenya was asked about the number‚ and protocols to follow‚ for the media at such matches.
“There is a media protocol in the plan. There is a number in terms of the media side‚ allowed to come into a game‚” the Bafana Bafana team doctor told an online press conference of the SA Football Journalists Association (Safja).
“But they do not come into that biologically safe environment. They only come to the games.
“And at the games they will be in some sort of [enclosed‚ separate area] and not be going to where the players are. But having said that‚ they will still be screened as they come in.
“And then we have said‚ in termso f the interviews we will look at these types of [online Zoom] interviews – what we are actually doing right now – rather than having the media being close to the player.
“Because our situation is not the same as in European countries‚ where they have less cases and it’s warmer than in South Africa [at present].
“But in terms of coverage there will be a certain number of media and they will be given their own space where they can go to sit and cover the matches.”
The venue for the BSE will be chosen primarily on the conditions of not being a coronavirus hotspot‚ and capacity of stadiums and hotel rooms‚ based on a single-room occupancy model. Warm weather is a third‚ lesser consideration.
The PSL Board of Goverenors of representatives of the 32 Absa Premiership and GladAfrica Championship teams were meeting on Tuesday to discuss‚ ratify and implement the return to training and to play plan‚ which has been approved by the government.
While leagues that have returned to play in Europe‚ where coronavirus numbers are in decline‚ utilise teams’ home grounds‚ in South Africa a single-venue BSE is needed as numbers surge towards a peak in August.
The PSL’s 2019-20 season was suspended due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in SA on March 16.