Thursday, 31 December 2020 15:15

Staff Reporter.

The DStv Premiership will be able to continue through South Africa’s adjusted Level 3 lockdown announced by government, but will require some changes to kick-off times. Government has gazetted that professional sports can continue, and that inter-provincial travel is allowed, but that all sporting venues must be shut by 20h00.

In response to President Cyril Ramaphosa's address on Sunday in which the country moved back to Level 3 restrictions due to the rising infections and the reported new variant of the disease, the PSL has adhered to the strict curfew.

That means no evening kick-offs for the foreseeable future, and that the likes of Maritzburg United’s clash with Bloemfontein Celtic in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday will have to move kick-off from 19h00 to 15h30.

It could also complicate travel for teams after matches, as those that would have flown back home directly after a game could have to stay another night in their hotel with a national curfew from 21h00 to affect airline operations around the country.

The Premier Soccer League will be relieved that they are able to continue their season after having to complete the 2019-20 campaign in a bio-bubble in Gauteng which, while successful, came at a very high financial cost for clubs that many said was unsustainable.

All five midweek fixtures will now kick off at 17h00 instead of the previously altered 19h00 schedule in order to wrap up the games before the national curfew.

The League also confirmed a revised block fixture will be released in due course after only confirming the midweek clashes for next week.

South Africa’s borders also remain open for international travel, which means theoretically clubs competing in CAF club competitions can continue their campaigns, though a number of African nations have placed a travel ban to and from South Africa during this second wave of COVID-19.

This includes Angola, who have halted flights between the countries, and suggests Kaizer Chiefs may have trouble travelling for the second leg of their CAF Champions League title against Primeiro de Agosto set for January 6, while Orlando Pirates’ CAF Confederation Cup opponents Sagrada Esperança could have difficulty coming to South Africa for the second leg of their tie.

Nigeria has also placed a travel ban on arrivals from South Africa with Bloemfontein Celtic set to travel to play Rivers United in the second leg of their tie.

Chiefs drew 0-0 in their first leg, Pirates won 1-0 and Celtic lost 2-0.