Soccer scene: 2020 was a year of strife for Safa, PSL

Johannesburg – The year 2020 was marked by two major football running battles on different fronts involving the PSL and Safa failing to reach consensus on the resumption of the COVID-19-hit Absa Premiership, and Safa head honchos clipping the wings of two prominent soccer officials, Gay Mokoena and Ria Ledwaba.

There was high drama in the upper echelons of local football when the PSL set the ball rolling to start the Coronavirus pandemic-delayed season on July 18, International Mandela Day, following the suspension of football activities in March.

Safa did not budge because, it said, health and safety protocols were not in place.

Safa red-flagged the PSL’s processes and plans, even criticising how the bio-bubble had been set up.

Safa’s outcry stemmed from the flouting of the “Return To Football” health and safety protocols, seeing August 1 as the likely date to resume playing.

Eventually, the Premiership season resumed on August 8 with the Nedbank Cup semifinals and August 11 for the league.

When the two bodies failed to find common ground, uncertainty prevailed with accusations from both camps.

Safa’s original position was professional football to resume in lockdown level 1, but level 3 was eventually agreed on.

Safa acting CEO Tebogo Motlanthe and the PSL acting CEO Mato Madlala had their public spats, accusing the professional wing of dealing directly with the Minister of Sports Nathi Mthethwa and not Safa as the mother body.

The bickering was mainly over the health and safety protocols, resumption dates and the readiness of referees.

The second fight was marked by two Safa national executive committee (NEC) members who were given their marching orders after being accused of being out of line.

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