Why PSL will play in Gauteng epicentre

Premiership

The PSL is set to resume the 2019/20 season and has selected Gauteng as the preferred location for the bio-bubble, and it has been explained why.

The Absa Premiership and Nedbank Cup is set to be concluded after government issued the green light for its resumption amid the ongoing spike in Covid-19 infections.

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The 32 top-flight and first division clubs are all expected to report into the biologically safe environment in Gauteng, which is in fact the country's epicentre of infection at present.

With a total of more than 364 000 infections in the country thus far, Johannesburg and Pretoria and its surrounding areas are classified as hotspots, but PSL chairman Irvin Khoza has argued that their protocols are stringent enough to withstand the risks.

“I’ve indicated that football, because of its nature, is seen as playing and not as a business. All of you [media] at home or even at work, you leave your home to go to work and there is risk [of infection] that goes with that,” emphasised Khoza.

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“In some instances you go to shopping centres, and you come back home where there is no social distancing or mask-wearing. Imagine the risk that goes with it.

“The issue of the epicentre and lockdown was emphasising the minimising of contact within crowds and gatherings. What we have provided as a solution is to play in a medically safe environment that will assist [in avoiding the spread of the virus].

“Whoever goes into the bubble must be tested first, and if you are not negative then you can’t go into the bubble.

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“All the companies that have resumed work, give me one that has done testing before they resume work – any company? Your company itself never tested you, but you keep on going to work, in and out.

“Now for us, it was good that it happened this way, because some clubs have discovered that there were players that were infected, and we wouldn’t have known.

“So, by using this bubble, which is in fact now being used as a model [by other sporting codes], it is the best way to manage the spread.

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“What we have produced is not 100 percent perfect but it mitigates the risk as compared to other companies, for whom it would be a different story if they were subjected to the same kind of pre-conditions."

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