The South African Football Association has refuted claims that they are blocking the Premier Soccer League from resuming with the 2019/20 season.
The football mother body and its special members have been at loggers heads for the past weeks on the date of the long-awaited resumption of football.
While the PSL had earmarked this coming weekend as a preferred date to resume matches, SAFA have denied that they are against football action resuming and using referees fitness as an excuse.
“Argument that SAFA is against resumption of football is both illogical and false because international football will resume later this year and we cannot have a competitive national team without a competitive domestic football,” said the association in a statement released on Thursday.
“The Joint Working Group has been working hard and we hope matches will commence on 1 August as planned. We have in the meantime begun processes to test match officials for covid-19 and put those negative through the mandatory FIFA fitness test. This is a requirement from FIFA who initially suggested 3 weeks but we compromised on two weeks,” read the statement.
The association also laughed off claims that the brawl is as a result of the mother body being envious of the NSL financial standings.
“Talk that SAFA has financial problems and wants to collapse the NSL is laughable to say the least. SAFA doesn’t have financial problems and we have recently paid all of our Regions, all clubs and players and we will continue to do so. SAFA will actually report a massively improved financial results in the current financial year.
“The revenue of the NSL has nothing to do with SAFA as we have never interfered with their sponsors. SAFA’s original position was that the commencement of play was Level 1, however through the hard work of the Joint Working Group, SAFA agreed that the proposal for commencement of 1 August 2020 under Level 3 be approved subject to full compliance in terms of government regulations. This position has been accepted by SAFA for an immediate start on 1 August 2020,” they said.
“The situation in Gauteng Province and the country at large is a life threatening situation and we need to tread carefully on safety and healthy compliance,” added SAFA.
As it stands, it certainly look like football will only resume on the 1st of August 2020.
By Ofhani Munyai