Irvin Khoza breaks down return of the PSL: ‘This was not a one-man show’

07 August 2020 - 15:23
By Marc Strydom
PSL Chairman Press Irvin Khoza.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images PSL Chairman Press Irvin Khoza.

Irvin Khoza has thanked the contributors‚ including the government and SA Football Association (Safa)‚ who have played a role in the Premier Soccer League’s (PSL) return to football that kicks off on Saturday.

PSL chairman Khoza‚ in a televised press conference on Friday‚ broke down the return to play.

He said that three teams (Mamelodi Sundowns‚ Bidvest Wits and Baroka FC) taking part in Saturday’s Nedbank Cup semifinals entered the Gauteng biologically safe environment (BSE) on Thursday‚ and one (Bloemfontein Celtic) on Friday.

“It is going to be a new normal‚” Khoza said. “It is a first in our country.

“It is a test case on which we as a nation will be able to develop a practical model that other sports codes and event organisers will learn from.”

Khoza gave a breakdown of the attendance of 100 people at a match.

There are 40 players (11 starting and nine reserves per team); 14 technical staff (seven per team); eight club officials (four per team) and four ball retrievers (two per team‚ plus one more from both benches acting as additional retrievers on the west side).

There will be five match officials‚ eight medical paramedics doubling up as stretcher-bearers‚ one stadium doctor and one PSL media officer “and other officials”.

TV broadcasters have two presenters‚ a floor manager‚ 12 cameramen‚ two cable-bashers and two static board or LED personnel.

Khoza said Orlando Pirates‚ who kick off the Absa Premiership against Sundowns on Tuesday‚ arrive in the BSE on Sunday; followed by Kaizer Chiefs and AmaZulu on Monday‚ Chippa United on Tuesday‚ and Cape Town City on Wednesday.

Highlands Park and Stellenbosch FC enter on Thursday‚ and Lamontville Golden Arrows‚ SuperSport United‚ Maritzburg United and Polokwane City join the BSE on Friday.

He said 32 match officials and one fitness monitor have already entered the BSE‚ and 48 personnel have entered a “pre-bubble”.

The PSL expects 198 broadcast personnel‚ plus another 46 crew members‚ 88 match officials‚ nine BSE doctors‚ 12 PSL officials‚ one Safa and one league compliance officer and 32 bus drivers in the bubble.

The total number of people expected in the Premiership BSE is 648‚ and GladAfrica Championship 527.

“An achievement of this magnitude is never a sole effort of one man‚ woman or organisation‚” Khoza said.

“This was not a one-man show‚” he added later.

He assured the players‚ the “soldiers on the ground”‚ that every precaution is being taken to ensure their safety.

The chairman thanked the PSL’s sponsors‚ broadcast partner SuperSport and suppliers‚ the government and Ministry of Sports‚ Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa‚ league acting CEO Mato Madlala‚ and Safa and its acting CEO Tebogo Motlanthe and president Danny Jordaan for their cooperation in the return of football.

He said the Ministry of Transport has assisted teams assembling in Gauteng‚ and the Gauteng Tourism Board and hotel industry‚ “in particular Tsogo Sun”‚ have “been essential in helping us create safe environments that are necessary parts of a seamless bubble”.

The 32 Premiership and GladAfrica Championship teams will be quarantined in hotels in Johannesburg and Pretoria and travel only to training and match venues.

The teams conducted Covid-19 testing returning to training in early July‚ with positive players sent into isolation‚ and clubs must undergo a second round of testing at their home bases 48 hours before entering the BSE.

All personnel within the BSE are constantly screened and monitored for symptoms.


Nedbank Cup semifinals:


  • Baroka FC v Bloemfontein Celtic (Orlando Stadium‚ 2pm)
  • Mamelodi Sundowns v Bidvest Wits (Orlando Stadium‚ 7.15pm)

Absa Premiership next week:

Tuesday‚ August 11

  • Mamelodi Sundowns v Orlando Pirates (Dobsonville Stadium‚ 6pm)

Wednesday‚ August 12

  • Kaizer Chiefs v Bidvest Wits (Orlando Stadium‚ 6pm)

Friday‚ August 14

  • Chippa United v Cape Town City (Orlando Stadium‚ 3.30pm)
  • Highlands Park v Mamelodi Sundowns (Dobsonville Stadium‚ 6pm)

Saturday‚ August 15

  • AmaZulu v Baroka FC (Lucas Moripe Stadium‚ 1.30pm)
  • Stellenbosch FC v Lamontville Golden Arrows (Tuks Stadium‚ 1.30pm)
  • Polokwane City v Kaizer Chiefs (Loftus Versfeld Stadium‚ 3.30pm)
  • Orlando Pirates v Bidvest Wits (Ellis Park‚ 6pm)

Sunday‚ August 16

  • Black Leopards v Maritzburg United (FNB Stadium‚ 3.30pm)
  • SuperSport United v Bloemfontein Celtic (Bidvest Stadium‚ 6pm)