Monday, 16 March 2020 19:17

 

PSL suspends fixtures until further notice:

The Chairman of the League, Dr. Irvin Khoza, today announced that the Executive Committee had resolved to immediately postpone all matches under the auspices of the League until further notice. The decision was taken in light of the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and the advices of the South African government.

The decision impacts all Absa Premiership and GladAfrica Championship fixtures which are postponed until further notice. The Executive Committee also resolved to discontinue the 2019/20 MultiChoice Diski Challenge season with immediate effect.

Dr. Khoza said: “Following the announcement by the State President last night prohibiting gatherings of more than 100 people, the League convened an Extra Ordinary Executive Committee Meeting this morning to discuss the impact of the announcement and the way forward. We have been following developments around the coronavirus closely – both in the country and internationally. It is important that football plays a responsible role in this situation to ensure that we don’t make things worse. We have to take decisions that are in the best interest of not only football but also the nation. Life is very important above everything else. We appeal to football supporters and South Africans to adhere to the measures announced by the President.”

The League has called an urgent Board of Governors meeting (all the 32 member clubs of the League) on Thursday, 19 March 2020 to consider all options there may be in this difficult time so as to best protect the rights, interests, and health, of professional football, its clubs, players, commercial partners, supporters and of course South Africans generally. The League is engaging various stakeholders including government in this regard.

Supporters who have already purchased tickets to matches that would have taken place this week and/or on the coming weekend are advised to retain the tickets. Further advices will follow in this regard.

 

Sunshine Tour Statement:

In light of the announcement by the President and having taken the advice of the various government ministers and the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the issues surrounding COVID-19, the Sunshine Tour will be suspending all of its activities as of 16 March 2020. The Sunshine Tour will review its position on 20 April or as the situation demands. 

This decision was taken by the Sunshine Tour Board of Directors and Players Committee, and stands in unity with the International Federation of PGA Tours and world golf’s decision to suspend its activities.

Our aim is to both safeguard our members and our loyal fans, and support the President’s call for all South Africans to present a united front in taking the prescribed action to prevent the further spread of this virus.

As such the Sunshine Tour has instituted an immediate international and domestic air travel ban for all of our staff. The Sunshine Tour’s Head Office will be closed throughout this period, but all communication will carry on as per normal as staff will work remotely and in designated teams. Regular communication from the Tour will still be sent to all of our members via our website, email, WhatsApp and social media, keeping them updated on what is an incredibly fluid and dynamic situation.

As part of our “Return to Golf” plan, the Tour has already held discussions with all of our partners, sponsors and host venues of our upcoming African leg of tournaments on the proposed way forward and to ensure everything is in place to resume our activities as soon as the South African government provides this go-ahead and in consultation with our partners in Africa.

Our immediate priority is, as a leading sports body in South Africa, to be responsible and do everything to contribute to stopping the spread of COVID-19 so that our society may return to normal as soon as possible.

We thank our sponsors and partners for their support and understanding during such a unique moment in South African golf, and we also ask for the patience of our fans at this time.

 

CSA terminates all forms of Cricket:

Following the address to the nation by the President of the Country, the Honourable Cyril Ramaphosa, and the subsequent marathon meeting earlier today, Cricket South Africa (CSA) has taken the decision to immediately terminate all forms of cricket in the country, for the next 60 days, namely:

First-class cricket;

List A cricket (Momentum Cup);

All semi-professional and provincial cricket; as well as

All Junior and Amateur cricket.

Said Dr Jacques Faul, Acting Chief Executive for Cricket South Africa, “We at CSA take this pronouncement by the President and the cabinet very seriously and we will most certainly use our leverage to ensure that we minimise the impact of the virus in our spaces. Consequently and during this time of absolute caution and surveillance, we would like to call upon all our members and affiliates to desist from taking part in any cricket related gatherings and other transversal events that will include the congregation of large numbers of people and/or up to 100 people”.

 

Liverpool reportedly set to be named Premier League champions:

Radical plans could be introduced if the Premier League season is completely curtailed due to coronavirus – with Liverpool reportedly set to be named Premier League champions, while Leeds and West Brom are likely to be promoted from the Championship.

Top-flight fixtures have been suspended until April 4 at the earliest, but it is feared the campaign may not resume because of the pandemic.

The Premier League will hold an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss what happens with this season – and the Telegraph has revealed the bold and controversial plans which could be introduced.

According to the report, there is little opposition to handing the Reds their first domestic title in 30 years, with Jurgen Klopp’s men currently 25-points clear and needing just two more wins.

At the other end of the table, one proposal suggests that no teams will be relegated this season, while the current top two in the Championship, Leeds and West Brom, will be promoted for a 22-team season.

This would mean the EFL Cup would have to be scrapped for one year to allow room for the extra fixtures – and FIVE teams could be relegated at the end of next season.

The Premier League would also need to decide how to determine Champions League and Europa League qualification.

 

UEFA will announce the decision to postpone Euro 2020 to the summer of 2021, according to reports:

The Times claims that the FA are receptive to the plan given the chaos to sport caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

It is hoped the move will provide flexibility for club competitions to be completed.

The Euro 2020 semi-finals, final, a last-16 match and all three of England's group games were due to be played at Wembley.

 

The Bundesliga has extended its suspension until April 2 but the season could still be completed behind closed doors.

The German top flight was the last of Europe's 'big five' leagues to cease operations in light of the coronavirus outbreak with only last weekend's matches being postponed at the time.

However, following a meeting on Monday, the Deutsche Fussball Liga (DFL) confirmed the ban would continue until April 2.

But the possibility of completing the 2019/20 season behind closed doors to ensure clubs can survive a testing economic period is being considered.

 

A Spanish football coach has died from coronavirus at the age of 21 having been suffering from a form of leukaemia.

 

Francisco Garcia, who was in charge of a youth team coach at Malaga-based club Atletico Portada Alta, had an unknown pre-existing health condition which made him more vulnerable to the virus than people of his age usually would be.

However, he was only informed of having cancer after going to the hospital with COVID-19 symptoms.

Spanish newspaper Malaga Hoy reports that Garcia was advised to seek further medical help after struggling to breathe. He was then told he had both coronavirus and pneumonia.

He was then told he had leukaemia which increased the level of risk that he was exposed to after contracting the virus.