Four PSL clubs ignored Covid-19 health and safety protocols

A disturbing situation is playing itself out among the 32 PSL clubs in the elite Premiership and the National First Division, the GladAfrica Championship, after four unnamed clubs were found to have let their guards down pertaining to Covid-19.

Some clubs in both rungs of the league have been found to be lax in enforcing the health and safety protocols during training, preparing and playing of their matches. Perturbing, indeed. And why not name and shame the four clubs?

No doubt, pandemic fatigue has engulfed the country’s more than 60 million people.

South African society is just tired of observing the protocols in every facet of life, be it at home, work or in public.

But people have died; we should be more alert.

For a sporting organisation like the PSL that has been petitioning the government to increase the current 2 000 spectator attendance at match venues and with soccer fans putting pressure on the league to open stadiums up, the disregard for Covid-19 rules and regulations surely flies in the face of all those petitions.

The PSL received world-wide positive appraisals after getting full marks in dealing with the first two waves of the Covid-19 pandemic, but its clubs have since thrown the rule book out of the window.

The much-vaunted PSL bio-bubble during the first wave had all 32 DStv clubs locked in hotels and playing at a few selected venues to avoid infections as they pushed for the completion of the 2019/20 season. It was gratifying.

Last December, Chiefs suffered no less than 31 Covid-19 cases that led to the Soweto giants closing their Naturena headquarters.

As things stand, a PSL disciplinary committee case against the Glamour Boys for their two no-show league matches is running parallel to an arbitration hearing as they seek clemency from Safa for failure to honour the matches due to the outbreak.

According to the government and health experts, the fourth wave is still upon us and there have been hints that the fifth wave could hit us by May-June, when winter starts to bite.

A number of sporting codes have been allowed to have spectators at half their venue capacity, depending on the size of the venues Safa has been allowing 2 000 fans, but the PSL went the cautious route and continued with fixtures without fans.

In the case of the four unnamed PSL clubs, the league’s disciplinary committee saw it fit to caution the outfits. I am of the view the sanction should have been much more severe than the slap on the wrist.

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Xolile Mtshazo

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