Soccer players hoping for a flying start in new year

While the professional soccer league is well underway, local football players are hopeful of a return to play soon and plans are being devised to make that possible.

That is the word from Gerald Donn, president of the South African Soccer Federation Western Cape.

He says the national competitions committee of SAFA would sit soon to deliberate about when the new season would start and the fixture lists.

At least we now know what the Covid-19 regulations require. As soon as the competitions committee has a recommendation it will go to management to be ratified and hopefully our Local Football Associations can start playing again in the new year.

Everybody is frustrated and everybody wants to play, but I think the harsh realities of Covid-19 and what it presents have not sunk in properly.

Covid-19 had a devastating influence on SAFA Western Cape’s competitions, the AB Motshepe League and the Sasol League. All six districts in the province were affected, with regional and provincial competitions not concluded.

When Covid-19 struck those leagues were in the middle of their fixtures. Everything came to a standstill. FIFA and SAFA’s standpoint is that lives come first, as a result SAFA decided to start playing again only at level 1, although the professional league had permission to resume earlier.

But as we moved further into Covid-19 there were issues like the professional leagues – their winners had an impact on the continental competitions and promotion-relegation competitions.

The Motsepe League has a link with the Professional Soccer League competitions, because in every competition every year two teams get promoted to the Glad Africa competition. So the provincial winners go through to the playoffs.

Last week the regional Motsepe winners played off in Johannesburg to determine the two teams that qualify for the Glad Africa competition.

In the Western Cape the regions made a decision about how to appoint regional winners, and in most cases they followed SAFA’s example by declaring the log final as it stood when Covid-19 brought competitions to a halt.

Now all the regional winners in the Western Cape are determined and promotion games will take place on 28 and 29 November in Bredasdorp. The winners will get promotion to the Abe Motsepe League.