14 May 2020 – The South African football fraternity remains divided regarding whether Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs should to be crowned 2019/20 Absa Premiership champions should the season be scrapped due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
When the season was brought to a premature halt in March, Chiefs held a four point lead over their nearest challenges Mamelodi Sundowns, with Amakhosi having played one more match than the defending champion Brazilians.
With FIFA having given governing bodies around the world until 31 July to wrap up their leagues, it’s increasingly looking more and more likely that the South African Football Association (SAFA) and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) will need to make an urgent decision on how best to decide the outcome of the title race.
With South Africa currently at lockdown Level 4 and sporting activity only permitted at Level 1 as per current gazetted restrictions, that leaves exactly 80 days before the deadline to schedule the outstanding 54 Absa Premiership matches.
That appears an unlikely scenario.
That leaves authorities with basically two options: Abandon the season and crown Kaizer Chiefs champions OR declare the season null and void.
Neither decision will be unique in that France’s Ligue 1 and the Belgian Jupiler Pro League seasons were both abandoned with PSG and Club Brugge, respectively, crowned champions, while the Dutch Eredivisie was cancelled with no winner inscribed on the trophy.
Understandably, Kaizer Chiefs supporters will be pushing – and pushing hard – for the former option.
Currently Amakhosi sit on four PSL titles, tied with their bitter rivals Orlando Pirates. It’s been a long drought for their next title since the 2014/15 campaign for the Glamour Boys who are celebrating their 50th anniversary this season.
For the rest of the league – and fans of Pirates in particular – one can only assume they’ll either be ‘neutral’ as to the decision taken or cheering for the season to be declared void.
Having said that, several clubs will have an interest in how the Top 8 will be decided, while Baroka FC, Polokwane City, AmaZulu and Black Leopards in particular will be eager to learn how the promotion-relegation race will be resolved.
In a Twitter poll run by Sport24 on Monday, followers were split in deciding how best to resolve the title race.
With well over a thousand votes cast, the ‘scrap it, no winner‘ option held a narrow 51% to 49% sway over the ‘crown Chiefs champions‘ belief.
All bias aside, how do you feel the PSL should decide the 2019/20 title race, assuming the season won’t be concluded by the 31 July deadline?
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