After months of engaging government, the PSL on Wednesday was ultimately given the go-ahead to resume play, which had been on hold since the middle of March owing to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
While there’s no date yet, the latest move by the government is the culmination of a string of meetings between the PSL and Safa.
The approval comes at the back of PSL chairperson Irvin Khoza and Safa president Danny Jordaan handing the government a task team report on protocols for the resumption of football a fortnight ago.
“The plans of the PSL have been approved, considering the mitigation strategies and plans concerning the level 3 risk-adjusted strategy in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic,” Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa said in a statement.
He added that the plans passed the analysis by health authorities and the National Institute For Communicable Diseases. The bodies recommended that the measures put in place by the organization met – and in some instances exceed – the required protocol for a safe return to training and to play in a biologically safe environment.
Football and other contact sports are prohibited from competition under level 3 of lockdown, but they were permitted to start training, provided they submitted their plans indicating their state of readiness and the stringent health protocols they would implement.
PSL clubs were expected to return to training last week, but couldn’t do so until the government had approved the league’s proposal.
However, the good news arrives amid several players and staff at a few PSL clubs confirming positive tests for Covid-19 in their camps. Those who made their positive tests public this week were Absa Premiership leaders Kaizer Chiefs, Stellenbosch FC, Bloemfontein Celtic, and GladAfrica Championship campaigners TS Galaxy. The PSL is yet to make any official statement.