Coronavirus: Dr Ngwenya reveals three 'return-to-play' protocol priorities set by Safa and PSL

Goal.com

South African Football Association (Safa) chief medical officer and Bafana Bafana doctor Thulani Ngwenya is confident there are no issues with the PSL return-to-play protocol. 

Ngwenya explained how the Joint Liaison Committee (JLC) submission to the government eventually gave the PSL the green light to resume and complete the season.   

"We have said to the government, we're going to test first, the training fields are going to be sanitised and people are going to be screened on a daily basis – that is just for training," Dr Ngwenya said to the South African Football Journalists' Association.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

Ngwenya said the first round of tests will be followed by a second before the clubs can move to a biological safe environment (BSE), where a camp will be set up for the completion of the 2019/20 campaign.  

"But, over and above that, before they come to the BSE, they are going to be tested again for a second time and then go into a mini-camp wherever they will be based," he continued. 

"Now, when they are cleared for a second time, they are then going to travel – for which there is also a protocol that we have to adhere to, which speaks about the number of people allowed in transport because we still have to have social distancing."

Ngwenya, however, confirmed, the biological safe environment identified by the PSL must not be a hotspot or an epicentre for the coronavirus.

Reports suggest KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng have been identified as the two provinces that could possibly host the mini-camp due to the facilities available to accommodate almost all the teams.

However, that hasn't been denied or confirmed by either Safa or the league's executive.      

"Then, in terms of the BSE, when you identify this, it must be a place where it is not a hotspot or an epicentre. So, we'll be going to an even safer place," added Ngwenya.  

"For instance, one of the other things that can perhaps be looked at is the issue that different regions in the country have different weather conditions, where, for instance, Polokwane is warmer than Johannesburg, but it doesn't take priority over the issue of capacity.

"The first thing is that the area must not be an epicentre [of the coronavirus]. The second is that it must have the capacity in terms of training fields, accommodation and of course the match venues.

"The third issue is that, if possible, that area must be an area that has slightly warmer weather than the other areas in the whole country, but that is not the priority, it just becomes a bonus if possible."

What to read next