Johannesburg- Some of Mzansi’s most recognized supporters say that they want PSL action during and over the Christmas holiday and festive season.
While many township football enthusiasts and former professional players go on overdrive by staging December friendly tournaments, some featuring ex-PSL players and amateurs, those following the PSL’s Premiership are of the view the Christmas and New Year recess is unnecessary and there is no reason why the league should not continue with its fixture schedule except on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
In countries like England, for instance, the English Premiership, Boxing Day football action is a major drawcard. In other sports in South Africa, Test cricket is also a massive fixture on the calendar during Christmas time.
The DStv Premiership will play its last round of matches on December 22 and then go on a recess until after the 2022 Afcon tournament in February.
The Christmas break has been a norm in the era of the PSL. But due to a longer break because of the Afcon tournament, the PSL on Monday announced a new competition, the DStv Compact Cup, to fill the gap and rescue fans from football drought.
Kaizer Chiefs’ most visible supporter Masilo Machaka said that the league must reconsider its position of closing during the Christmas period.
“Other countries continue with their league programmes. Why are we stopping? Games during this time in the EPL are exciting because the points are very crucial in determining the league winners and those facing relegation.
“We have been blessed because cricket comes to the rescue with the Boxing Day Test matches, or we would end up watching the off-season tournaments in the townships, but it would be great if the PSL programme was continuing.
“Covid-19 has made our lives miserable and without football, the situation becomes worse,” Machaka said.
Machaka’s counterpart at Orlando Pirates, die-hard supporter Dejan Miladinovich, added his voice: “The kasi tournaments give us an alternative but it would be nice to have many options because we want to watch our PSL teams as well.
“Many countries and leagues do not stop. We want to spend Christmas with our families early in the day and then we go to the stadiums later.
“I hope we will be able to achieve this in the future. I know our league bosses are very clever, that is why they introduced this new competition, the DStv Compact Cup so that we are not starving of local football because the Afcon in Cameroon is too long.”
Although the PSL has said in the past that the break was meant to give the players time during this period to be with their families, others have argued that as professionals and entertainers, it is their obligation to continue working in the form of providing entertaining football during the holidays.
The PSL’s long-serving official, Prof Ronnie Schloss, was not available to engage Sunday World why the league takes a break instead of following in the footsteps of the EPL.
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