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WATCH | Galaxy owner Tim Sukazi on his ‘discomfort’ over the DStv Compact Cup

16 December 2021 - 13:44 By Marc Strydom
TS Galaxy coach Sead Ramović and chair Tim Sukazi during the unveiling of new head coach and training session at George Lea Park, Sandton Sports Club on October 7 2021.
TS Galaxy coach Sead Ramović and chair Tim Sukazi during the unveiling of new head coach and training session at George Lea Park, Sandton Sports Club on October 7 2021.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

TS Galaxy owner Tim Sukazi has described as “problematic” the timing and format of the Premier Soccer League’s (PSL) DStv Compact Cup in January.

Sukazi said he believes the tournament will be “advantageous to big clubs, very disadvantageous to small or relegation-battling clubs”.

The Compact Cup, announced in a press conference by PSL chairperson Irvin Khoza on Monday, will take place in the last two weeks of January, during the DStv Premiership’s break for the Africa Cup of Nations in January and February.

It will see fans vote for the players who will make up four compilation teams from four streams made up of four Premiership clubs, and for the coaches and names of those sides.

“In my view it is a tournament where clubs that are not at risk of relegation could afford to take further risks,” Sukazi told a press conference of the SA Football Journalists’ Association.

“If five of your key players are selected to play in the tournament they are likely to be exposed to injury or maybe even this virus [Covid-19]. Then you need them immediately after on February 16 at Kings Park against AmaZulu.

“The transfer window is closed. Even then you cannot just breach your budget to get top players for an injury that might last six weeks.”

TS Galaxy owner Tim Sukazi told a press conference of the SA Football Journalists' Association (Safja) he has serious doubts over the timing and other issues regarding the Premier Soccer League's DStv Compact Cup.

Sukazi said clubs in the top half of the league might be less stressed by the abrupt emergence of the tournament.

“They can afford to risk a player or two, or a point or two, because they've got the depth. I don't think clubs in the relegation zone have got the depth to really sustain any situation of this sort.

“That is a problematic situation. I am not sure how the executive looked at this.”

Sukazi said the Nations Cup break should afford clubs — especially those struggling near the bottom — an opportunity to regroup and re-strategise. He said to do that, entire squads need to be training together.

“You need your key players, as opposed to being trained somewhere else, under a different coach in a different tournament.

“I'm not in the executive, and I am sure they are bright and thought about these things, [but] I don't know what kind of resolutions they took when these kind of issues came into their mind.

“It's advantageous to big clubs, very disadvantageous to small or relegation-battling clubs.

“Because you need to prepare. This one-and-a-half months gives a club time to really, really seriously focus on avoiding relegation. To me it's a very problematic situation.”

Sukazi suggested Premiership clubs had not been kept in the loop on the new tournament and were taken by surprise by Monday’s announcement.

“I don't know if it's compulsory [to release players]. The memo only came [on Tuesday] morning explaining this competition ...

“It's a strange situation. At high school you can take another boy [if you have injuries], but this is the highest level of the game, so you can't replace a player when he's injured in a tournament like that and you need him immediately.

“Once the tournament finishes we have got a few days and then we must report at Kings Park — [AmaZulu chair] Sandile Zungu is waiting there with his knobkerrie, he wants us in, and then our players are injured.

“So I don't know what the plan is really. We will hear more. It came like that [on Monday] — I was at work writing a legal opinion when my phone started being flooded by other club chairmen to say, 'Eh, there's something like this'.

“My level of discomfort I think is very clear from this conversation. I will have to apply my mind and see if we can’t engage with the league. What is our scope? Can we talk about this more as clubs, now, and engage.”


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