safa

Danny Jordan with (Football Association of Zambia President) Andrew Kamanga during the 2019 COSAFA U20 Final match between South Africa and Zambia at the Nkoloma Stadium, Lusaka on the 14 December 2019 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Safa not postponing any fixtures yet amid coronavirus scare

Safa says the coronavirus global pandemic has not reached epidemic levels in South Africa.

safa

Danny Jordan with (Football Association of Zambia President) Andrew Kamanga during the 2019 COSAFA U20 Final match between South Africa and Zambia at the Nkoloma Stadium, Lusaka on the 14 December 2019 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

The South African Football Association (Safa) has responded to the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the sporting world.

Various sports events across the globe have either been postponed or played behind closed doors, with South Africa being no exception as SA Rugby and Cricket SA have had cancelled tours as well.

Safa responds as Caf cancels Bafana games 

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has too joined in among sports federations who have taken measures to limit the spread the highly contagious virus.

Qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) 2021 tournament were set to return towards the end of March, but the continent’s governing body has postponed the upcoming fixtures until further notice.

“We wish to acknowledge that the Coronavirus is here with us,” Safa responded in a statement.

South Africa Football Association

Safa upbeat about South Africa’s handling of coronavirus 

Within South African shores, domestic fixtures are set to continue as planned, with the Nedbank Cup quarterfinals already in progress.

Close to a capacity crowd is expected in the clash between Highlands Park and Mamelodi Sundowns in Thembisa on Saturday evening.

Safa stated that the coronavirus is yet to reach epidemic proportions in the country

 “We have full confidence in our Health Authorities. We have seen critical patients getting better after coming into contact with the virus.

“As the football family of South Africa, we are taking our cue from our Government, represented by the Department of Health and our football mother bodies, Fifa and Caf. We will be guided by these authorities in all the decisions that we will be taking.”

South African Football Association

How Covid-19 has impacted South Africa

South Africa has, as of 13 March 2020, recorded 24 confirmed cases of the virus, with no deaths recorded.

A further 122 citizens have arrived back home from the coronavirus’ epicentre in Wuhan, China and are set to be sent for quarantine in Polokwane.

Bafana Bafana were set to welcome Sao Tome e Principe for a qualifier at FNB Stadium before travelling to the island just four days later.

Safa says they have already taken measures to avoid putting their teams at risk, most notably pulling out of a friendly match that would have seen the Olympic team travel to Japan, which has recorded over 700 cases of the virus.

“We have already developed precautionary measures for all our members, teams and clubs to use as a guideline to minimize contact with the virus,” the statement reads. “These measures have been posted on our website. We have also sent a circular to all our members advising them about the precautionary measure.”

South African Football Association

Safa said it welcomes Caf decision to halt the Afcon qualifiers, while the SA Women’s Under-17 match will still go ahead on Sunday, 14 March at Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg.

“It is our considered view that there is no need to panic at this stage. The virus is not an epidemic yet. We are positive that the situation will improve rather than worsen. We believe that there is no need to either suspend or postpone the football program in the country at this stage.”

South African Football Association

The organisation, however, stated that their position could change as the situation remains under ongoing review.