PSL players health more important and they should have their say - Safpu president Gaoshubelwe

Some Premier Soccer League (PSL) players have raised concerns about restarting the current 2019/20 campaign.

This is according to the South African Players' Union (Safpu) president Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe, after the PSL held talks with the South African Football Association (Safa) earlier this week.

The two organisations converged in a virtual meeting on Tuesday to map a way forward for the possible resumption of football activities in the country.

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Gaoshubelwe explained that players want to have a say in the health regulations that are being formulated for a safe return to the field, after the PSL was suspended in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“What is the most important thing for us is the health of players, safety-wise as well as the livelihoods of players,” said Gaoshubelwe on Daily Sun.

“We must find the balance between the two. If these things are taken care of, just like all the other sectors, players will be able to play.

“We have made our submissions to both the league and Safa.”

Some leagues in Europe like the Belgian Pro League, Eredivisie and Ligue 1 have been cancelled due to Covid-19, which has infected millions of people around the world and killed hundreds of thousands thus far.

Gaoshubelwe said the PSL cannot just follow suit as he is worried that it would affect the futures of many players.

“We cannot thumb suck decisions [because] those leagues have stopped therefore we must do the same,” he argued.

“If we follow them, we have to know what will happen to players’ contracts if we do not continue [and complete the PSL season]."

The PSL and Safa have decided to set up a joint task team to devise a way for the league to resume as soon as the government gives them the go-ahead.

The task team is expected to present their findings to Safa and PSL, and they will jointly present their unanimous decision to the Minister of Sports Nathi Mthethwa, who would then make a presentation to Parliament.

Teams are unable to train during the current lockdown which was imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus in South Africa.

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