The Premier Soccer League has confirmed that the kickoff for Absa Premiership season 2016/2017 will be on the Tuesday, 23 August owing to Olympics taking place in Rio, Brazil from August 05 to 21 August 2016.
South African under 23s will be participating in what is the biggest sporting extravaganza in the world.
Times Media Digital reports that, The PSL is set to sit down with broadcasters on Wednesday to select matches for TV and once those have been decided‚ the fixtures must still be sent to the clubs for their input‚ specifically around venues.
“The broadcasters were away in France [at Euro 2016] and are now back. I am meeting with them on Wednesday when we will decide on which matches are to be televised‚” acting PSL CEO Mato Madlala.
“Once those have been finalized then we send to the 16 PSL clubs for final input around venues. They must confirm these‚ especially for the opening rounds‚ before we make the list public.
“As the things stand‚ there are some venues that we know are not likely to be the final ones used‚ or teams have two possible venues for one match and need to make a decision around those.”
Madlala‚ who is the owner of a top-flight club Lamontville Golden Arrows‚ is having to take a more hands-on approach due to the pending disciplinary action against general manager Derek Blanckensee.
She did not comment on the action or its implications for the PSL.
Further complicating the fixture list is the potential sale of Free State Stars’ franchise to a consortium that has purchased Moroka Swallows.
That would mean matches being moved from Bethlehem to Johannesburg.
Although Madlala says she has heard “rumours” of the sale‚ she adds that the PSL has not been involved in any discussions yet and this will not hold up the fixture process.
“Until such a time as the two parties come to the PSL to have a sale made official‚ we cannot speculate on that. I have heard rumours about it but nothing more.
“Should a sale be agreed it must first go to our legal department to check that everything is OK‚ and if it is then I would call an exco [executive committee] meeting to put the facts to them. That’s the process.”
The new league season is due to start towards the end of August to allow clubs to release players for the South African squad that will be headed to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.