Johannesburg – After the PSL kept mum for more than a week on the Kaizer Chiefs no-show saga for league fixtures, thus allowing wild speculations to go on overdrive in the mainstream and social media, sanity has finally prevailed.
The PSL will address the media and the public today on the way forward after Chiefs failed to honour their last two DStv Premiership matches against Cape Town City at home last Saturday and the away fixture at Golden Arrows midweek.
This was after the Glamour Boys squad was hit by 31 to 36 positive Covid-19 cases last week.
Fortunately, some players are back at training.
Last Friday, the Soweto giants announced their inability to honour their league fixture obligations due to the pandemic.
Since then, a cold but also silent stand-off has ensued between the PSL and Ama-khosi.
The PSL’s hesitancy and most significantly its one-week stony silence has led to every lover of the beautiful game, both inside and outside the country, to wonder how the league will get itself out of this sticky situation.
Chiefs are not the first and will not be the last club to be ravaged by the pandemic to an extent that they are unable to honour their fixture obligations.
We know that a precedent was set by the league last year and earlier this year when first division outfits Polokwane City and Cape Umoya, respectively, were hit by Covid-19.
Rise and Shine, as the Polokwane-based City are popularly known, had three points deducted by the PSL disciplinary committee (DC) for failing to adhere to the league’s rules of including five Under-23 players in their squad in order to honour their fixtures.
But the DC failed to take into account City’s depleted squad due to positive Covid-19 cases.
The outcome of the docking of the points led to a protracted legal battle that nearly scuppered the start of the current season after the protesters, Sekhukhune United, rose to the number one spot on the first division log and gained automatic promotion to the Premiership.
Another lower division outfit, owned by the flamboyant Durban-based businesswoman Shauwn “MaMkhize” Mkhize, would hear none of it as they felt they had also won promotion fairly and should be elevated to the top of the log.
At the time, again, the PSL buried its head in the sand, until they allowed Mkhize to purchase the status of Bloemfontein Celtic, leading to the demise of one of the most popular and most historical clubs in the Free State.
The same scenario played itself out in the Cape Umoya case in January this year when the club failed to fulfil its fixture in similar circumstances and had points docked from them.
The Cape side has since folded when its franchise was bought by Limpopo-based businessman and owner of amateur outfit Venda Football Academy.
Chiefs are bound to challenge the PSL if points are deducted for missing the two games as they had to put the lives of their players first.
The PSL’s Covid-19 rules are clear, though.
They state: “Covid-19 cannot, and will not, be used as excessive circumstances” by any club not to avail itself on match day and fulfil its fixture obligations.
We shall wait and see how the PSL gets itself out of this sticky situation.
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