South Africa’s administrator of professional football, the Premier Soccer League (PSL), on Thursday announced the suspension of all matches until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the PSL set a tentative deadline of end of June for the conclusion of the current season.
“Whilst our intention is to complete the season by no later than 30th June 2020, because of the existing uncertainties in our country we shall remain flexible,” a statement by the PSL read in part.
The PSL had come under pressure to suspend matches as South African president Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the number of positive cases in the country had reached 150 by Thursday.
The South African Football Association (SAFA) had also weighed in saying that all forms of football should be suspended until early April. SAFA said that playing behind closed doors was not a solution as proven in Europe where a number of players got infected.
“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,” SAFA President Danny Jordaan said.
On Monday, the PSL announced the suspension of all matches scheduled for the remainder of the week from March 17-22 due to the virus.
Meanwhile, the Football Association of Zamiba (FAZ) also announced that it had suspended all league matches until further notice due to the coronavirus.
On Wednesday, the FAZ had announced the postponement of the Absa Cup quarterfinal matches scheduled for March 21 and 22 due to the coronavirus.