Safa welcomes Nathi Mthethwa’s call on contact sports

The South African Football Association (Safa) has welcomed the clarity given by Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa on how Level 3 lockdown regulations affect various sporting codes.

The country is set to enter relaxed social distancing restrictions from Monday, with non-contact sports given the green light to resume training.

Green light to resume training

During his briefing on Saturday, Mthethwa said contact sports such as football would remain prohibited from resuming play under Level 3, although athletes are allowed to return to the training ground under strict social distancing measures.

Safa has welcomed this call by the minister, saying it will comply fully with the regulations.

“We welcome the fact that athletes can start training under strict specific conditions. Furthermore, there are requirements for a thorough monitoring of all athletes to ensure full compliance.

“It is also clear that contact sport like football and rugby among others cannot resume competitively under alert Level 3 from the Minister’s briefing on Saturday,” said SAFA Acting CEO, Tebogo Motlanthe.

Tebogo Motlanthe, Safa Acting CEO

How local soccer has been implemented by the lockdown

There has been no top-level action in the South African soccer fraternity since early March, when the Premier Soccer League (PSL) decided to suspend amid the growing spread of the global pandemic.

The hiatus has not only affected domestic fixtures but also national teams – most notably Bafana Bafana, who had a busy schedule in 2020 due to involvement in the 2021 Afcon and 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.

Safa – along with the PSL and other stakeholders – have previously met with Mthethwa regarding the conditions under which play can resume.

Mthethwa said he was open to further engagement from various sports federations on the matter.

“Safa welcomes such continued engagements, mindful of the negative financial impact COVID-19 has had on sport in general. Football, rugby and cricket are amongst the major sporting codes that have been heavily impacted by the pandemic,” added Motlanthe.

Tebogo Motlanthe, Safa Acting CEO

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