The tension between the PSL and Safa was getting out of hand, but I’m elated that the right decision to restart the football season was taken in the end.
The sense of anticipation about the resumption of football was palpable. When Irvin Khoza announced that the 2019/20 PSL season was set to resume this coming weekend, the whole country was overwhelmed with jubilation.
Heading into last week’s Board of Governors (BoG) meeting, there were murmurs that the league might be declared null and void. That would have been really unfair to those at the summit of the table in the Absa Premiership and GladAfrica Championship.
It would also have been unfair to those who were chasing those top teams. Six games or less can change a number of things - leagues can be won and lost in six games. It is an identical scenario in the relegation zone. You can avoid relegation in six games and you can be relegated in six games.
The best way to complete the current season was by finishing the remaining matches. Everyone will get a fair chance of winning the league and to fight for survival. That’s what the masses wanted to see, not the war of words between the two organisations.
I felt that this saga about the resumption of football should have been handled better. It was clear for everyone to see that the two organisations did not see eye to eye, and differed in opinion. Some of the arguments were really unnecessary, as relationships are extremely important.
I’m confident that the tension between the PSL and Safa won’t affect the Under-23 team. I’m sure Safa will be using the next few Fifa weekends to prepare for the Olympic Games. Clubs will definitely release their players because it is a Fifa week.
But there will be times when the national team will need players a little bit longer, and I hope that the recent tension won’t come back to bite Safa. We all want to see our national teams be competitive. In order for that to happen, the relationship between the league and Safa has to be good.
I’m optimistic that both parties will be able to understand the importance of competitive national teams.
Bafana haven’t qualified for Chan in a while, and that’s not because they are inadequate, but rather due to Bafana not getting all the top players.
PSL clubs don’t want to release their players for Chan because the qualifiers of the competitions are not played during Fifa dates. I’m sure we can’t just accept that as it is.
Yes, I understand that there’s a lot at stake for PSL teams but if the PSL can sit down and come up with solutions to deal with the situation, I’m sure Bafana can start to qualify for Chan. Clearly that won’t be happening any time soon because of how these two organisations deal with each other. All we can do is just hope that one day, they will see why it is important that the two organisations have a good chemistry for the development of our football. - www.iol.co.za
* Minenhle Mkhize is an independent journalist and member of South African Football Journalists Association (Safja). He is also a two time KZN Sports Journalist of the Year winner.