Irresponsible behaviour towards health and safety measures will not be tolerated from Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs, government has warned, as players, coaches and officials prepare to enter a bio-bubble in Johannesburg ahead of the resumption of the domestic season this weekend.
Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Monday that 11 PSL teams had been monitored on the ground in the build-up to this week’s matches, and while clubs were responsible for the isolation and testing of their players ahead of the league resumption, government was confident the bio-bubble would ensure the health and safety of all involved.
Though reports suggested some individuals were not practising social
distancing measures ahead of the league’s restart, Mthethwa insisted
football would only be allowed to continue as long as those involved
followed the strict health and safety measures which had been agreed upon.
“This is subject to the plans they have submitted and all other protocols as outlined in the regulations and directions published by the department,” Mthethwa said.
“It therefore means that those plans should be adhered to, so it’s not a ‘fait accompli’ that people will just get onto the field and play.
“They will play based on the plans which were submitted to the department, and we reserve the right to halt any activity if we feel and think that those protocols and plans are not being adhered to.”
Football was set to be the first contact code to resume competition in South Africa since the nation was locked down and domestic sport was suspended more than four months ago.
Government, meanwhile confirmed it had approved the plans of a total of 46 sports bodies to resume activities, though the return to action of each code remained unclear.
Another 29 sports remained sidelined after their applications were rejected by the adjudication panel due to health and safety protocols.