The Premier Soccer League (PSL) has not yet accepted the August 1 date proposed by the South African Football Association (Safa) for the resumption of the league because it’s still in consultation with its sponsors.
The league has nevertheless expressed disappointment Safa’s position. Acting PSL CEO, Mato Madlala, told reporters that she is astonished at how Safa have handled the matter of the resumption of football in South Africa.
“Our statement stated that the members of the Board of Governors want the chairman to engage with the sponsors, broadcasters and government that was going to host us. The chairman is busy with that process. For now, we haven’t taken any decision. We haven’t met to consider that (proposed date by Safa). The chairman will engage our stakeholders and then we will take it from there,” Madlala said yesterday.
The PSL was ready to resume action as early as this coming weekend but Safa objected to that proposal, citing a lack of readiness of match officials. The federation then proposed the beginning of August as a start date.
In their statement, Safa indicated that match officials will need two weeks to be at the state of officiating PSL games.
“We don’t have match officials. It is Safa that needs to provide match officials. If they are saying they are not available for whatever reason, even though the referees are telling us (off the record) that they are available, it is difficult. We don’t know how to start tackling the issue,” Madlala added.
Safa have come under widespread criticism for “delaying” the league restart.
Asked if she shares the sentiment about Safa being the stumbling block for the resumption of football, Madlala responded: “I can’t comment on such allegations. I prefer to talk about facts. Facts are out there. But with regards to that allegation, I don’t have any factual information. Usually we tell Safa when are we starting and then they send us match officials. They have never before suggested to us when to start. I have no personal opinion on all of this.”