The COVID19 Threat is Not Gone – Yet.

Government has eased down the lockdown restrictions to Alert Level 1, effectively making it possible for football as grassroots level to start playing.

This comes when sports people had begun to show impatience regarding the permission to resume with training and playing. In Pheli alone, almost 30% of the Members of PLFA had taken to the grounds in defiance with Government and SAFA, but most of all, in defiance with PLFA itself as it had numerously given out instruction to Members to refrain from playing.

This phenomenon was not only in Pheli, but countrywide. LFAs and SAFA Regional alike all over the country have been complaining about the same thing. Realistically, from a SAFA perspective, if there had to be disciplinary procedures undertaken against defiant Members, the who football governance function would have crumble to just only the administration of corrective actions, let alone the effort and cost of the Disciplinary Hearings themselves.

At PLFA we had started with the procedures, but later abandoned the initiative in favor of more inspirational communication and leadership on this matter. We believe we made the correct decision along with many other LFAs and regions out there.

But we are worried. And yes, we have cause to get worried.


Medical experts and government officials have raised concerns about the possibility of a second wave of coronavirus cases in South Africa. On Thursday the 22nd of October 2020, the country reported 2,156 new cases, taking the total number of cases in the country reported to 710,515. Deaths have reached 18,843 (a daily increase of 102), while the country has 49,112 active cases.

Epidemiological reports are showing that in the country, over the last seven days there has been an increase of 9.1% in new cases. Similarly, over the last 14 days, there has been an increase of 10.7%.

While government and health officials have encouraged South Africans to continue following health and safety guidelines, research shows that ‘pandemic fatigue’ has set in for many South Africans. A survey conducted by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) shows that there is greater complacency in compliance with public health measures, increasing the unnecessary risk of exposure to Covid-19 during the lower lockdown levels.

The key findings of the above-mentioned survey demonstrate show that:

  • Four in ten adults believe the threat of the Coronavirus is exaggerated;
  • One in three adults do not always wear a mask when leaving home;
  • Fear of Covid-19 is declining;
  • Trust in the President is declining.

It is important to take note of as any premature reduction in preventative behaviours poses a significant challenge in our ability to combat the virus.

“Professor Abdool Karim, chair of the Covid-19 ministerial advisory group, has similarly warned about complacency, mass gatherings and eased travel restrictions as factors that are increasingly likely to make a second wave in the country inevitable.”

Football cannot at this time be counted as one of the contributors to the steady increase that Professor Karim talked about purely because football was on effective lockdown, until very recently. But Professor warns about the likelihood of the coming of the second wave, which, amongst other things, coincides with the opening of Football to play.

Following the opening of football by government, and to reduce the risk, SAFA released the COVID19 Health and Safety Directive for Amateur Football. Within this Directive there is a clear protocol for the management of football activities with extreme caution, ensuring that Football does not fall in the trap of the complacency mentioned here-above, and thereby contributing to the effecting of the second wave.

As a PLFA Leadership collective, we do not believe that the threat of corona virus is exaggerated. We see its effects daily through our own and the lives of people which surround us. As such, we embrace the above-mentioned Directive from SAFA and will implement it with all of our might. However as we do that, we do not want to do this against our Members, but rather with them. We need your support. Ultimately we do not want anyone who is a member of the association to be infected, get sick or even die because of the corona virus, and because of our activities. Because if that were to be the case, then it would mean that as an association we have contributed to the demise of a human being – an indictment we will seek to avoid at all costs.

So we have appointed a Compliance Officer of the association by the name of Maureen Malokela. Maureen will assist us in implementing the SAFA Directives, enforcing them, and monitoring the application thereof. She will do this in conjunction with the Club Compliance Officers as well as the Regional Compliance Officer.

Through her monitoring and recommendations, the Executive Committee of the will apply the necessary corrective actions to ensure compliance, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Provision of the COVID19 related training;
  • Assisting Members to, and give them time to comply with the SAFA Directive;
  • Suspend Members who clearly and consciously defy COVID19 compliance; and
  • Expel Members who, after reasonable interventions still continue to defy COVID19 defiance;

Remember, the fight against the spread of corona virus is not over. Let us not be complacent, but rather let us be vigilant. Let us keep each other accountable. Stop training and playing unless express permission has been given by the office of the association.

Let us report those who continue to defy the SAFA Directive by writing an email to Each email will be registered as a case with a reference number for the report to be able to receive updates. Each report will be treated with the strictest confidence.

I really do want this message to come across as inspirational, and not as a threat. Remember, we do this because We Love Football. We Love Phelindaba. We Love its Youth.

Working Together Works!!!

About Mapitsa Poopedi 58 Articles
Management of the Effectiveness of the Executive Committee and Congress Meetings and outcomes thereof, Ensuring that the tactical and strategic drive of the organization is maintained and supported.

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