Premier Soccer League edges closer to return

John Comitis during the 2019 MTN8 game between Cape Town City and Polokwane City at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town on 17 August 2019 © Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs can now submit their compliance documentation in accordance with the plan for a return to training and will be given the individual go-ahead accordingly.

This clears the way‚ depending on how compliant various clubs are‚ for a return to training for some as early as this week‚ depending on how long the PSL takes to respond‚ or more likely by early next week.

This was the crux of a PSL Board of Governors (BoG) meeting held online on Tuesday.

TimesLIVE is informed that PSL legal head Michael Murphy was appointed chief compliance officer of the return to training‚ and medical head Dr Lervasen Pillay is the chief medical officer.

Cape Town City chairman John Comitis said his understanding is that once his club’s documentation has been approved they could return to training this week.

“There’s a protocol that has to be followed in order to return to training.

“The sports minister [Nathi Mthethwa] has granted us permission to do so [on June 24]‚ under the conditions of that protocol that was submitted by the PSL to the government‚” Comitis said.

“There’s a few things clubs have to do in order to pass that first point of call. If clubs have done it‚ they’re going to return to training.

“The one is testing‚ the other is the preparation and sanitisation of the premises‚ and certain medical examinations that have to be taken‚ and for the rest you can return.

“Some clubs are not ready‚ and it might take them a few days to get ready. Other clubs‚ like ours completed our compliance in anticipation. And we’re ready to rumble.

“The BoG meeting was in order to explain how the return to training will happen.”

Many of the PSL’s 32 Absa Premiership and GladAfrica Championship clubs had the PSL compliance protocols for a return to training in their possession from before they were approved by the Department of Sport last week Wednesday‚ and began fulfilling those some time ago.

The PSL’s return to training directive requires each club to appoint a compliance officer to oversee the staggered return‚ which involves individual training in the first week‚ small-sided in the second‚ squad non-contact in the third and contact training in the fourth week.

Some club officials who attended the BoG – two who spoke to TimesLIVE did not want to be named – were disgruntled that a date and venue for a return to play were not given by PSL chairman Irvin Khoza‚ and nor were the details shared of the plan for such.

Khoza told the meeting he would provide details within a few days.

The plan is for a biologically safe environment based in a non-hotspot city‚ where‚ after further testing‚ teams and officials can be quarantined and play the matches at sanitised venues to complete the 2019-20 season.

Another club official said they understood that the PSL had to have its ducks in a row‚ and all the organisation well under way‚ before making an announcement on the details of a return to play to the clubs.

PSL acting CEO Mato Madlala and senior manager Luxolo September could not be reached for comment.