Safa still waiting for PSL response to August restart date

Safa proposed the date after saying that is when match officials would be available for the final 107 games of both the Absa Premiership and Glad Africa Championship.

Ajax Cape Town players walk out of the tunnel for a GladAfrica Championship match. Picture: @OfficialPSL/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The SA Football Association (Safa) is still waiting to hear back from the Premier Soccer League (PSL) about the current campaign restarting in the first week of August.

Safa proposed the date after saying that's when match officials would be available for the final 107 games of both the Absa Premiership and Glad Africa Championship.

Gauteng will play host to the bio-bubble environment needed to complete the games.

As for when they will start, interim Safa CEO Tebogo Motlanthe said they were stuck waiting for an acceptable date.

“We will be able to deliver all services expected on our side,” he told the SA Football Journalist Association (Safja) on Wednesday. “The League has said they are still going to consult with their stakeholders, so we are waiting for their response. The date of the first was not agreed upon, it is a suggestion from the association. So, we are waiting for them to come back to us.”

As for how much it will cost all 32 sides to be accommodated and play matches in the bio-bubble, Motlanthe said it's R100 million.

“That R100 million includes everyone who will be in that bubble, including match officials. They have made the calculations based on the requirements and the required people who will be on the bubble.”

A number of clubs have felt the financial strain of the prolonged season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some teams have even asked players and staff to take pay cuts, as the monthly PSL grant of R2 million stopped being paid out at the end of June.

While Safa has received a payout from Fifa and CAF to ease the financial pressure caused by the pandemic, Motlanthe says the association is not in a space to help clubs.

“The association is in no position to do that. The Fifa and CAF grant needs to be directed at organising your national team or games which are outstanding. So we need to use that money wisely so when the time for games comes, we are not stranded with all our national teams.”

As for the women’s game, Motlanthe confirmed that the second season of the National Women’s Soccer League would take place.

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies were the inaugural winners, walking away with R500,000 in prize money and a spot in the CAF Women’s Champions League.

“The preparations are well ahead and we are waiting, in line with the NEC resolution, when it is safe for them to resume, they will resume.”