Most of the ABC Motsepe League clubs in Limpopo have raised their concerns on the proposal by the South African Football Association (SAFA) competitions committee to resume the league in the midst of Covid-19.
As reported by FARPost this week, the committee chaired by Gladwyn White, have made recommendations that the ABC Motsepe League resume during the first week of October.
The third-tier league is racing against time to meet the 9 October start date for the GladAfrica Championship, wherein they have to promote two clubs.
Just like in Mpumalanga and Free State, where the Provincial leadership held consultative meetings with the clubs this week, Limpopo also held their meeting on Thursday at Seshego Stadium chaired by Provincial deputy Chairperson and NEC member, Vincent Ramphago.
It was during the meeting that clubs suggested amongst other things that, the league be declared null and void or only clubs who are still in contention for promotion be able to finish their fixtures because clubs do not have the financial muscle to test players for Covid-19.
“The issue around the testing is expensive for us, I think this is where SAFA should take over and say bring a certain number of clubs then we can take over (testing),” said one club official.
Polokwane Academy also raised their concerns and proposed that the 16-club league should be expanded to an 18-team league and do away with relegation.
“Before clubs resume training they must test before they can do anything they must test and quarantine. So rather take the number one club to the playoffs and leave the rest of us. Testing a player cost R800 what if a player test positive? Where do you quarantine them? Asked club official Mike Kwena.
The meeting made a resolution that the provincial leaders engage SAFA national office on the challenges in terms of testing of players, must engage the Provincial government to assist with sanitizers and masks and mask engage the local Municipalities on the availability of facilities.
As of 1 September 2020, the ABC Motsepe League clubs will be permitted to return back to training under strict return to football protocols, which includes five phases;
– Phase 0: A Preliminary phase in which players train at home, with the training programme sent and checked remotely by the club staff.
– Phase 1: An individual training phase in which a few club staff members may assist the player during the pitch training. During this phase, it is recommended that a maximum of two players can train on the pitch at the same time.
– Phase 2: A group Training phase with a maximum of 8 players.
– Phase 3: A collective training phase with full resumption of training for the whole group.
– Phase 4: Playing phase with no spectators allowed.
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By Ofhani Munyai