South African Football Association (Safa) chief medical officer Dr Thulani Ngwenya says the 2019/20 Premier Soccer League (PSL) season can go ahead, saying the referees are fully prepared to get back to action.
Ngwenya was speaking after the current campaign was halted in March because of the coronavirus pandemic and the football governing body has confirmed the officials would only be ready by the first week of August.
In addition, Ngwenya also confirmed they have not received confirmation on the proposed date of the first weekend of August.
“We’re now awaiting confirmation on our proposed date of the 1st of August,” Ngwenya told the media as quoted by Daily Sun.
“Although we haven’t received confirmation, we have already started preparing as we know the games are going to happen and need to make sure we’re ready when that time comes.
“We don’t want to be in a situation where we have to rush things through and look disorganized. We’re confident the date will come. Hence the process has started.
“We know that teams have already started preparing. It’s realistic that we’ll resume on 1 August.
“Our officials will be ready to officiate. They’ll go into the bio bubble camp two days before the actual start date.”
Although the PSL has been keen on resuming the season on July 18, they are expected to finally announce the restart date tomorrow after its Board of Governors (BoG) meeting which is scheduled to get underway on Monday.
On the other hand, Ngwenya also revealed that while Gauteng might not seem to be an ideal province for the bio bubble camp, given the fact that it’s the hot spot for the virus, the experienced doctor is of the view that there’ll be no issues regarding safety.
“Indeed, it’s true that perhaps if we (Safa) had been part of the decision-making team regarding where the camp should be, we would have emphasized what the Joint Liaison Committee document is saying,” he added.
“The document states that the area shouldn’t be an epicentre or hot spot for the virus. But what we’ve received from the NSL is that choosing for the venue was done before Gauteng became an epicentre.
“But the comfort that we get from the whole situation is that going to the biologically safe environment will eliminate the risks as the virus is not airborne. This is an area that is Covid-19-free, and those who are going in will have been tested twice.”