SAFA Welcomes Resumption of Amateur Football
Staff Writer, 13 October 2020
The South African Football Association has welcomed the government’s decision to grant permission for all football activities in the country, including at grassroots level, to resume immediately – but finer details still need to be ironed out.
The South African Football Association (SAFA) has welcomed the government’s decision to grant permission for all football activities in the country, including at grassroots level, to resume immediately.
This comes after the Minister of Sport and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, issued a statement at the weekend which clarified the Level 1 directives relating to sport, arts and culture gatherings published last week.
The Sport Directions published by the Minister provide that sport, arts and cultural activities, including both professional and nonprofessional matches, by recognised sporting bodies, are allowed to resume activities with no spectators at the venue or precinct of the venue, subject to testing in case of professional sport and screening in terms of nonprofessional sport.
SAFA CEO Tebogo Motlanthe said the green light to resume football was welcome news for the public and football stakeholders.
‘’We are happy that football will now resume but our members must monitor and ensure that teams follow strict health protocols. All SAFA health and safety directives must be followed so that we avoid any possible spike of COVID-19 cases,’’ said Motlanthe in a statement today.
Other things that the clubs need to take care of include: the appointment of a Compliance Officer; daily screening of COVID-19 symptoms; and trying as much as possible to observe COVID-19 social distancing sanitization and regular washing of hands, as well as wearing of masks as much as possible at any given time (except when training is in session).
Motlanthe’s statement follows SAFA’s decision last week to declare null and void the ABC Motsepe League, South Africa’s third tier football league which is a semi-professional under its jurisdiction. In the Western Cape the league had about 12 rounds of matches remaining, and the decision didn’t go down well with some other clubs. Safa had also declared the National Women’s League null and void at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
SAFA Cape Town, one of the 52 regions that constitute SAFA National, has called for an urgent meeting of all its 34 Local Football Associations (LFAs) Competition Chairpersons and LFA COVID-19 Compliance Officers tomorrow (Tuesday 13 October) to discuss the return to play strategy for the region.
“We have noted the contents [of the national office statement] and wish to inform all that we still await the final Amateur COVID-19 Precaution Plan from the National Office as a similar document was drawn up for the ABC Motsepe League clubs,” SAFA Cape noted today in a communication to its members. “The press release does not include substance or further details in relation to return to play and facility and member preparations and availability in relation to COVID-19 Prevention and Precaution.”
When amateur football activities were halted in March, there were between 13 and 15 rounds of matches to play in the 2019/2020 SAFA Third Division season, with at least six clubs fighting tooth and nail for the title. This year’s LFA football had not commenced as its season runs between April and October.
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