Coronavirus

South African league set to return in August

South Africa's premier soccer league (SAFA) won't be restarted before August in compliance with the state's football federation resolution.

South African league set to return in August
MARCO LONGARI AFP

The Premier Soccer League officials were hoping to restart the 2019-2020 league season by the end of this week, while the South African Football Associations issued a directive which implied that football competitions cannot resume before August, due to concerns over Covid-19 infection and resulting complications than a new spike would bring.

Recent speculations suggested that SPL will get back underway by 18 July, while this hasn't been approved by SAFA, which in turn issued a revised proposal pointing out that the return of competitive activities can't happen before 1-2 August.

PSL board of governors received a permission back on 23 July from the Sports, Arts and Culture minister Nathi Mthethwa to resume the 2019-2020 season. Professional teams were allowed to return to training two weeks ago.

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PSL board of governors decided to comply with the Association's directive as they released a statement that read "The National Soccer League Board of Governors held a virtual meeting today, 14 July 2020, to consider, amongst other things, the resumption of the 2019/20 season".

"The PSL had complied with the requirements and [was] ready to resume with the 2019/20 season on 18 July 2020, but are unable to do so due to unavailability of match officials. The Executive Committee has been mandated to re-engage stakeholders regarding the current status quo".;

South Africa is the most seriously-hit African nation by Covid-19 with the cases tally nearing 300,000 and 4,346 deaths.