PREMIER Soccer League players want to have a say in the health regulations that are being formulated for a safe return to the field.
According to the SA Football Players Union (SAFPU), players are feeling excluded in the process and are worried and scared after Orlando Pirates star Ben Motshwari revealed his Covid-19 status.
A bone of contention is the fact that no member of SAFPU was co-opted onto the PSL/SA Football Association task team that was formed by the Joint Liaison Committee on Tuesday, and given 14 days to prepare a submission to be handed to the government before local football can resume.
Union president Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe said news that Motshwari had tested positive for coronavirus has sent shivers down players’ spines, and the task team needs to ensure the safety of players before the season resumes.
The PSL suspended football in March due to the outbreak of the deadly Covid-19.
Players have no idea what is being discussed by the task team, although they are key stakeholders in getting the current season completed, the union said.
“What is the most important thing for us is the health of players, safety wise as well as the livelihoods of players,” said Gaoshubelwe.
“We must find the balance between the two. If these things are taken care of, just like all the other sectors, players will be able to play.
“We have made our submissions to both the league and Safa.”
SunSport spoke to a few players butmost of them didn’t want to be named.
They said the fact that Motshwari has contracted the Covid-19, has left them scared to get back on the field.
Maritzburg United midfielder Keagan Buchanan said the players’ welfare has to be top of the agenda, and they must have a say as well.
“If that is not the case, then Kaizer Chiefs (the current Absa Premiership leaders) should be crowned champions,” Buchanan added.
The French league was recently cancelled.
The top teams in both divisions were declared winners. In Holland, the league was declared null and void.
With these leagues putting the lives of everyone first, Gaoshubelwe said PSL cannot just follow suit.
“We cannot thumb suck decisions (because) those leagues have stopped therefore we must do the same,” he argued.
“If we follow them, we have to know what will happen to players’ contracts if we do not continue (and complete the PSL season),” Gaoshubelwe added.