PSL football under threat by ICASA

Nedbank Cup

PSL chairman Irvin Khoza made the announcement at a press briefing following an extraordinary Board of Governors meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

ICASA intend to amend its public broadcast regulations by including all national football – including Bafana Bafana and other national teams –  under its framework that regulates the free-to-air rights of sports in the country.

This would see the PSL forfeit their ability to independently sell the broadcast rights to the likes of SuperSport International and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

Khoza said this could cripple the PSL with a potential loss of up to 80 percent of its annual revenue and, as a result, lead to the collapse of the organisation and its member clubs, who are dependant on such income.

"ICASA wants to do this after the hard work we have put in? Players would not be getting paid as much if it was not for our current funding model. The current broadcast deal took work and time," said Khoza.

"We did not break the law. Everything we did was within the framework. We did the work necessary. The broadcast deal has had an enormous impact on the state of SA football. Without it the PSL dies.

"Without adequate funding, this industry as we know it will collapse and will be back to what it was back in the 1980s. Clubs will cut support staff to the bone and our grant of R11m to SAFA will no longer be available.

"I hope this is an error from ICASA, but it is also a form of exclusion. They did not consult or try to understand our industry.

"We will defend ourselves rigorously. We will exhaust all options available to us. If it is not resolved, we will shut down the PSL."

ICASA initially set a deadline for submissions on its proposed amendments for February 2019, but federations have since been afforded until March this year to put forward their arguments.