PSL chairman Irvin Khoza confirms August 31 deadline for 2019/20 season


Khoza has confirmed that professional football will return as an important part of the South African economy and must be completed by August 31, but conceded they will not proceed without SAFA's go-ahead.

The PSL has been accused of putting self-interest ahead of the safety of stakeholders in their insistence to complete the season amid the country's peak of Covid-19 infections.

A proposed date of July 18 has been set to restart matches within the biologically safe environment, but the 'Iron Duke' refused to confirm whether this will be the official return date.

"We have put saving lives first, in fact our whole approach is governed by this all-important health factor," said Khoza at a live media conference on Monday.

"The NSL alerted sponsors and broadcasters that the season would be completed at the end of August. It was in working back from this date in the requirement of at least six weeks to complete the fixtures.

"The 32 clubs of the NSL further represented in the board of governors have met to address the challenges of Covid-19 under circumstance where the very existence of their businesses are threatened.

"Being in the entertainment business, and the fact that when we work it is called 'playing', has for some reason taken away on the business and employment aspect of our game.

"The NSL is essential in the South African economy, as an employer and business that sustains livelihoods... we do not play for fun. The so-called 'playing' is a business.

"The confusion around the dates, I must indicate that I had a few meetings with the president of SAFA in dealing with these issues long before this controversy came about.

"The six weeks required to end the season is not a thumbsuck, setting of dates for the fixtures is done in line with the NSL Handbook that is recognised by the SAFA Statutes.

"There is a meeting taking place between the SAFA and PSL compliance officers to finalise, among other things, the availability of the match officials."