The prestigious Bayhill Premier Cup has been cancelled due to the ongoing and dynamic global nature of the Covid-19 pandemic; the organisers of the tournament announced on Tuesday.
The U19 tournament, held at Erica Park, Belhar – Cape Town will not be staged for the second successive after it was also called off in 2020.
Patrick J Williams, Tournament Director said the Bayhill Premier Cup Organising Committee (BPCOC) considered various factors and decided that it would not be practical, viable, and feasible to continue with the BPC of 2021.
“On behalf of the Organizing Committee, I wish to express our sincere and heartfelt condolences to those clubs that lost players, administrators, supporters, as well as family members to this devastating pandemic Covid-19,” said Williams.
“We have also concluded that it would be irresponsible of us to risk hosting a potential super spreader, and by so doing, endanger the lives of players, administrators, officials, and spectators.
“We deem the situation beyond our control and have no option but to cancel the event for 2021.”
The Organising Committee have been monitoring the situation over the past few weeks and they have observed the following factors:
- The improvement of the current situation shows very slow progress if any.
- The stopping of amateur football by Safa could continue in order to mitigate the spread of the virus.
- Alert level 3 lockdown could continue with the disaster management restrictions.
- Should we move to alert level 2 or 1, restrictions could still remain for some time.
- There is also talk about the possibility of a third (3rd) wave of the covid-19 pandemic.
- The biggest dilemma will be the restricted number of people allowed to attend the event.
- The event could be declared a potential “Super Spreader” as we know the huge support the BPC attracts.
- There is not enough time to plan and prepare for the event in order to maintain the standard that is expected of the BPC.
- Participants will not have sufficient time to prepare as facilities have been closed.
- The BPCOC could not engage with external stakeholders and is not confident that the event will be as successful as per the norm.
The Bayhill Cup has been in existence for over 30 years and it is deemed as the “leading youth football tournament in Southern Africa” as some of the most talented young players around the country go head-to-head.
The tournament is also the perfect venue for the talent scouts, managers, and administrators to see the next generation of stars in action.
A number of PSL and Bafana Bafana stars and former players all got their start in the Bay Hill Premier Cup. Ex-stars such as Benni McCarthy, Mathew Booth, Nasief Morris, current players such as Percy Tau, Ayanda Patosi, Thulani Serero as Daylon Classen, Sameehg Doutie, Bernard Parker have all taken part at one time or the other.
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By FARPost Reporter