South Africa Premier Soccer League to resume first week in August

South Africa's Premier Soccer League (PSL) will resume its 2019-20 season in "the first week of August 2020", after a meeting between the South African Football Association (SAFA) working group and their league counterparts.

The PSL had hoped to restart the season this weekend after South Africa's sports minister, Nathi Mthethwa, gave permission, two weeks ago, for professional clubs to resume training and play under a proposed COVID-19 safety plan.

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PSL officials subsequently proposed a July 18 restart for SAFA approval, but the association rejected that date.

"According to the Referees Sub-Committee of the Technical Committee, the first week of August 2020 is the appropriate date for the commencement of NSL matches," SAFA announced in its Return To Play document.

The PSL accepted this proposal during a board of governors meeting held on Tuesday.

"The board of governors noted that the PSL had received permission from the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture on 23 June 2020 to resume the 2019-20 season." the PSL said in a statement.

"The PSL had complied with the requirements and [was] ready to resume with the 2019/20 season on 18 July 2020, but are unable to do so due to unavailability of match officials."

SAFA said in its Return To Play document that "the 110 match officials will be subjected to medical and mandatory fitness test.

"The medical examination specifically entails testing for COVID-19 and those who test negative would be required to undergo a mandatory 14-day fitness test under the guidance of the FIFA-approved fitness trainer.

"A FIFA fitness consultant participated in the discussion.

"The fitness trainer initially wanted a three-week fitness period but both parties mutually agreed on an accelerated period of training of two weeks in order to meet the beginning of August commencement date."

Kaizer Chiefs topped the 16-team league standings with 44 points when the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Chiefs had 48 points from 22 games, with reigning champions Mamelodi Sundowns second on 44 points from 21 matches.