A ray of light has filtered through the dark clouds which have been hovering over the South African premier Soccer League (PSL) following government’s approval of protocals for a return.
The news comes barely three days after some Malawian players plying their trade in the Rainbow Nation spoke of their frustration on the delay to lift the suspension of football due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The PSL has seven Malawian players, namely Limbikani Mzava (Highlands Park), Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango (Orlando Pirates), Robert Ng’ambi (Black Leopards), Gerald Phiri Jnr and Richard Mbulu (Baroka FC), Khuda Muyaba and Dennis Chembezi (Polokwane City).
The second-tier GladAfrica Championship League has one Malawian Chawanangwa Kawonga who turns out for TS Sporting.
Mzava, Phiri and Mhango on Monday said it was becoming increasingly frustrating with the continued suspension.
But the PSL took a step closer to resuming the 2019-20 season when the South African Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa confirmed that their protocols for a return to play had been approved.
Mthethwa made the announcement in a media release yesterday, which gave a resounding thumbs-up to the plans the South African Football Association and PSL have put in place to return to the pitch.
“The plans of the Premier Soccer League have been approved, considering the mitigation strategies and plans in relation to the Level 3 risk adjusted strategy in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic,” the statement, published by supersport.com, said.
“The plans have further been subject to analysis by Health authorities, the NICD (National Institute of Communicable Diseases) who have recommended that the measures put in place by the organisation meet and in some instances exceed the required protocol for a safe return to training and to play in a biologically safe environment.”
It suggests that the season will be completed in one central location over a course of weeks, with the testing of players having already started last week.