It has been tried before – Safa president Jordaan against PSL matches played behind closed doors

The leader of the country’s football governing body has shared his thoughts on the idea of playing football games without spectators

South African Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan is against playing PSL matches behind closed doors.

This comes after the Minister of Sport, Arts and Recreation Nathi Mthethwa suggested that the competition can resume and be played behind closed doors to curb the coronavirus pandemic in South Africa.

Mthethwa said this after he held talks with Jordaan and PSL chairman Irvin Khoza in a meeting which was aimed at finding solutions amid the Covid-19 outbreak on Tuesday.

Jordaan gave an example of the English Premier League and Spanish La Liga with the two competitions having been suspended after they had initially been scheduled to be played behind closed doors.

“I am meeting the chairman [Khoza] tomorrow [March 18]. Our position is that it has been tried before,” Jordaan told the media.

“Mikel Arteta – the Arsenal manager – he tested positive. The whole Real Madrid team was quarantined.

Jordaan is aware of the fact that postponing or suspending football competitions leads to the league and clubs losing a lot of money, but he insists that the players’ health is more important.

“So, we have to look at the issues of health and safety of the players and other important issues like contractual obligations and the revenue. We have to meet and discuss these things,” he added.

“You have Uefa postponing the Champions League, and they generate $1.5 billion per year and of course Fifa generated $6 billion from the last World Cup and they said we must postpone the matches [2022 World Cup qualifiers].

“So, there is a point that you have to look at how do you mitigate the threats on the commercial and financial side and how do you secure the health [of stakeholders] and deal with this serious problem.”

The PSL’s board of governors are expected to meet on Thursday and map the way forward with the league having been suspended on Monday.