18 March 2020 – The South African Football Association (SAFA) has reiterated its stance that all forms of football be suspended until 4 April 2020 when an assessment will be made on the way forward.
In the face of escalating numbers of people who have tested positive of the coronavirus in the country, SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan said the Association had an obligation to preserve the wellbeing of players and fans.
“All matches must be postponed until we find a clear solution to this crisis. Most of the leagues across the world have said that on 4 April there will be further assessment, so there will be no matches until 4 April. Our position is the interest and health of the players, because for us that comes first,” said SAFA President.
“We have seen around the world that all matches are postponed. We cannot go against what is happening. Our position is clear, that all matches are postponed. SAFA has decided that there are no matches, it’s not possible to play.”
SAFA’s Chief Medica Offcer, Dr Thulani Ngwenya also gave a practical and historical background on how playing behind closed doors was not a solution to the ongoing global crisis.
Dr Ngwenya gave evidence of how playing in empty stadiums was not the answer, adding that our health system was far behind that of the Western world, who were failing to cope with the pandemic. He said most players in Europe had continued to contract the disease despite the idea of playing behind closed doors, which most countries (playing in empty stadiums) have now abandoned completely.
Meanwhile, Dr Jordaan told the media that SAFA will inform both the continental and world governing football bodies, CAF and FIFA on their decision to suspend all matches in the country.