The trending outbreak of COVID 19 has everyone hidden in their houses trying to avoid the virus. There are currently hundreds of thousands of confirmed cases of the virus all around the world. The first coronavirus case in South Africa was confirmed on March 5 and today, there are over 1,300 cases and 30 deaths. There have been various measures put in place to stop the spread of the virus.
On March 23, the South African President – Cyril Ramaphosa – declared a national lockdown to last for 21 days. However, about the week before then, the country’s football league, PSL had postponed all football activities of the Absa Premiership, GladAfrica Championship, and Multichoice Diski Challenge. This was in a bid to keep the lives of the team and supporters safe.
The Premier Soccer League, also called PSL, postponed all the Absa Premiership matches that were scheduled for that week. This postponement came before a meeting of the Board of Governors on Thursday of that week. The meeting was aimed at determining the way forward for the PSL season.
The change was a bid deal for fans who were patiently waiting for some major clashes that week however, it was a price to pay for safety. Two big Absa Premiership games were coming up that week. Mamelodi Sundowns were to take on Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs were to play Bidvest Wits. These matches along with 8 others that were slotted for that weekend were all postponed.
The chairman of PSL, Dr. Irvin Khoza, in a press conference acknowledged that this is a challenging moment and it is important for the PSL to enforce the matters raised by the president. He claimed that the PSL’s decision to suspend activities was born from the need to play a role in getting the message across to the public and keeping people safe.
Dr. Khoza stated that the PSL will be in touch with the government as well as stakeholders so the best decision can be made for the country. President Cyril Ramaphosa stated that the coronavirus outbreak is a national scale disaster and he closed off borders of South Africa on Wednesday, March 18. At that point, the number of coronavirus cases in the country was 61. Currently, there are no speculations on the resumption date for league activities.
On determining the league winners, there is no specification of what happens in the event of the league ending prematurely. In light of this, PSL has declared that Kaizer Chiefs will not be automatically crowned as the winners if the league does not resume. The club still has 8 matches to play before the season comes to a close. Unfortunately, with the current state, there is no assurance that the season would continue.
If it turns out that the season is canceled prematurely, Kaizer Chiefs will not be named champions simply because they are on top of the table. This is in a bid to maintain fairness and hence leave it as it is and return to the natural beginning. The PSL projected that the season will be concluded in June if the league activities resume.