Safa shuts down amateur football again as Covid-19 bites

Safa said all amateur football was suspended with immediate effect
NOT ALLOWED: Safa said all amateur football was suspended with immediate effect
Image: 123RF/somkku9kanokwan

The SA Football Association (Safa) has suspended all amateur football again due to the rapidly escalating numbers of Covid-19 cases in the country.

Safa said on Friday the suspension would be reviewed at the end of January.

“The SA Football Association has suspended‚ with immediate effect‚ all non-professional football in the wake of rising Covid-19 infections‚” the association said.

“The suspension includes training sessions‚ courses‚ workshops and all matches.

“The matter will be reviewed by January 31 2021, when the association will make further risk assessments and seek advice.

“This extraordinary step is taken in the interest of the safety of players‚ technical staff‚ administrators‚ match officials‚ the media and all other personnel involved in the organisation and staging of matches and other football events.

“Professional football will continue under the measures already being implemented by our special member‚ the National Soccer League [NSL‚ of which the Premier Soccer League (PSL) is the trading name].

“This must, however, be done in compliance with the applicable protocols of government’s risk-adjusted strategy of the Disaster Management Act with respect to the curfew and closure of venues, and as it is further explained in the directives issues by the sport‚ arts and culture minister.”

The PSL‚ encompassing the top-flight DStv Premiership and second-tier GladAfrica Championship‚ constitute professional football in SA and are not affected by the latest suspension.

PSL teams operate under stringent quarantining and sanitisation provisions‚ compliant with government restrictions on professional sport‚ including playing in closed stadiums.

All leagues below that‚ including the third-tier ABC Motsepe League and fourth-tier SAB League‚ are suspended.

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