CSA Following German Bundesliga’s Lead

The South African Cricket Association announced new plans regarding the isolation & safety of players. PR Representatives confirmed that they’d implement a “Bio-Bubble”, which they hope will limit the spread and exposure to COVID-19. Under these conditions, regular matches could resume in South Africa.

This announcement follows after the association reviewed the fixed matches of German Bundesliga. That respective league plays football and resumed play on May 13th. Their strategies to protect players have seemingly worked over the last several days. However, accurate insight into the effectiveness of “Bio-Bubbles” won’t be revealed until June 6th. This will mark the fourteen-day period & will show if any of those respective players in the German Bundesliga were infected with COVID-19.

Under these new revelations, the South African Cricket Association would have to revert their plans. It’s for these core reasons that sporting analysts in SA have claimed this announcement was made hastily. However, the CSA is doing everything to resume their seasonal matches before the Twenty20 Internationals begin in August. There’s also another tour slated against India for August, which could be forced into postponement until September.

False Hopes

The South African Government has continued to enforce their COVID-19 Lockdown Restrictions, which applies towards large-scale corporations and sporting associations. Special exemptions aren’t being made to ensure the protection of South African Civilians, with a large percentage being homeless and severely at risk from this virus.

The CSA Head Medical Officer provided insight into their announcement. He noted that significant protocols would be enforced, ensuring that the cricket bio-bubble is sanitised by on-site personnel. Testing would be maintained for all those entering & leaving this facility, allowing the South African Cricket Association to create a protective eco-system. This decision was consulted with medical experts in Australia and England, who confirmed that Bio-Bubbles should protect players.

It should be noted that Spain’s La Liga is also resuming their operations. Large-scale companies and sporting associations are ignoring the realities associated with COVID-19. The CSA will now petition their government to allow activities to renew. The chances of them receiving approval are unlikely until COVID-19 infections begin lowering throughout South Africa.

SARL Releases Financial Impact Plan

The South African Rugby League has released their “Industry Financial Impact Plan”. The IFIP will be dedicated to ensuring the overall protection of SA Rugby, which means coaching staff and players taking a significant pay cut. This decision follows after Executives, and Team Personnel from all outfits in SA Rugby held large delegations. They determined collectively; this was the best method for sports security. It should be noted that players were involved with these delegations as well.

Details in the reduced payments for players, tournament cancellations, and revilement to operational budgets were provided. SAFL Executives mentioned that 49% in savings was acquired through terminated competitions. An additional 37% in the operational costs was saved from respective cuts during COVID-19. When it applies to players, they’ll receive a 10% reduction in salaries. Those funds will be placed towards future costs associated with operating SA Rugby.

The South African Bodies that formulated this agreement include the SAFL, SA Players Representative Organization, South African Rugby Employers Organization, and Sports Employees Unite Union. These governing bodies protect the rights of South African players that compete in national or international rugby. It should be noted that Salary Cuts account for 25% when adding the additional savings earned from cuts with team personnel, coaching staff, and SAFL Employees. There are rumours that these respective pay cuts could increase before the pandemic is concluded, accounting for 43% of the SAFLs savings.

Sentiments from SAFLs CEO

The SAFL CEO remarked that obtaining this agreement was challenging. It required the involvement of multiple organizations, which under normal circumstances wouldn’t permit such extensive reductions in salaries. The SAFL accurately identified the financial burdens associated with COVID-19, noting that if these reductions weren’t allowed, South African Rugby wouldn’t be financially stable by 2022.

The Chief Executive Officer of the South African Rugby League finished his sentiments by noting their profitable strategies towards reopening. Roux revealed that they’d prepared actively towards SA Rugby restarting by August 2020, with various workshops and private training sessions being held with players. SAFL Players won’t be permitted to compete until the government ultimately approves the resuming of national sports.

South African Athletes Infected with COVID-19

Two athletes that originate from South Africa but now engage in international leagues have been confirmed with COVID-19. This includes Ben Motshwari and Sphephelo Sithole. The Orlando Pirates confirmed that their Midfield has a confirmed case of COVID-19 on May 7th, with Ben Motshwari now the 1st PSL Punter to have the virus. Ben’s also one of the youngest footballers worldwide to contract the novel coronavirus, with him not having any previous medical conditions.

The Orlando Pirates provides insight into the situation, releasing a formal statement to America news outlets. They remarked that Ben Motshwari first started showcasing symptoms of the Flu on May 1st. He immediately was inducted into a local hospital and underwent testing, which came back as a confirmed case with Asymptomatic symptoms. This means that Ben Motshwari won’t die from the novel coronavirus, that he’ll have to remain indoors for fourteen days and then be retested. This process will repeat until Ben is deemed clear of COVID-19. It should be mentioned that all individuals in contact with Motshwari over the last fourteen days were informed to be tested. None have come back positive.

Confirmed Diagnosis of Sithole

Before Ben Motshwari was confirmed with the novel coronavirus, Sphephelo Sithole announced his contraction of COVID-19. He was the 1st South African Footballer to prove he’d tested positive for the deadly virus. His confirmation came hours before he intended to arrive at the Belenenses SAD Training Facility, which Sphephelo has taken as a blessing. He’d never anticipated that he’d receive such an unforgettable call moments before leaving the home of the 1st time in weeks.

Unlike Ben Motshwari, Sithole isn’t Asymptomatic and is experiencing respiratory issues from the virus. Damages done from COVID-19 could force this footballer to quit his career early, as Sphephelo is less than 23 years of age. No context on his future with the Portuguese Football League was provided. Coaches and team personnel cannot know the capabilities of Sphephelo Sithole until he hopefully returns to training.

Coaches will be looking towards the stamina displayed by Sphephelo Sithole, which will then be medically tested by team doctors. They’ll determine the long-term damage done to his lungs from the novel coronavirus. After an assessment, it’ll be determined if Sithole can sustain an athletic career.

Lancashire Cricket CEO on Reopening

The Chief Executive Officer of the Lancashire Cricket Club has expressed there’ll be a multitude of challenges awaiting them when international venues resume. Daniel Gidley remarked that unprecedented conditions are often stated towards sporting clubs. He noted that nobody genuinely understands the level on which this applies, with cricket clubs and other sporting associations entering uncharted waters. What happens next nobody can predict, with Cricket clubs in South Africa and England possibly thriving after these events or failing. Regardless of what clubs want to do moving forward, they’ll have to wait until government lockdown conditions are lifted.

That will permit players to compete without the attendance of supporters, which won’t be enabled until social distancing measures are lifted. Prolonged timeframes without merchandise being sold and advertisers refusing to abide by contracts are prompting delays. This’ll be another side effect of the uncharted waters cricket clubs face, as minimal profit valuations could see this club’s shut down their operations effective immediately. It should be noted that these Cricket outfits only have to wait until July 1st for international matches to resume.

Daniel Gidley spoke with BBC Sports over video conference with Zoom. He mentioned that testing of all athletes competing in South Africa, England, Australia, New Zealand, or any other nation is required. These individuals must be tested before and after entering their respective matches. Outbreak measures are being enforced after the death percentages related to COVID-19 remain high. That’s why Daniel Gidley stated that he’d work with the United Kingdom Government and international commissions like the South Africa Cricket Association. This will ensure that each match-up on a national or international level sees athletes protected on multiple levels.

The Conditions

It appears the main priority for Daniel Gidley is the protection of his athletes, who continuously engage with international teams like India or South Africa. Their 1st cricket series after July 1st is located in South Africa, prompting the Lancashire CEO to work towards the safety of both sides. Full details on their Quarantine Plan hasn’t been unveiled, but it’s known that athletes won’t be permitted to shake hands with their opposing competition and won’t be enabled to use locker room facilities after matches.

South African Sports Experience Prolonged Lockdown

The COVID-19 Lockdown in South Africa isn’t anticipated to end for sporting organizations, with this confirmation following after it was announced that standard restrictions would be lifted by May 1st. Sporting associations in South Africa compete on the international level, with the overwhelming majority of their opponents remaining under self-isolation conditions.

Additionally, the South African government isn’t permitting mass gatherings after the restrictions are lifted. That means attendees still wouldn’t be allowed at stadiums, prompting continued declines in profits. It should be mentioned that profit margins had fallen drastically since late March when the lockdown was initially implemented. Some outfits are expected to announce their closures, with five weeks of minimal profits seeing their reserve funds depleted.

Civilians located throughout South Africa were ordered to remain indoors after the novel coronavirus broke out nationwide. The exclusion of this temporary legislation is essential workers, like Doctors and Law Enforcement. When civilians broke social distancing measures to inquire liquor and tobacco, it prompted the immediate ban of these products. It’s the 1st time that the South African Government had banned alcohol, showing the severity behind social distancing. That means fans shouldn’t expect the government to waver with their mass gathering laws.

Mass Gathering Limitations

The South African Government has demanded that civilians obey the mass gathering laws, potentially facing criminal charges by refusing. This means that civilians exceeding a gathering past ten people will receive a substantial fine or possibly be sent to prison. Under these conditions, it’d be impossible for Football and Rugby Leagues to compete. This wouldn’t even allow their full lineups in one location.

The South African Premier Football League is taking the worst hit with these legislations. Soccer clubs in the SAPL are expressing that revenue losses are creating unsatisfactory conditions, prompting them to dip into reserve funds. Once these funds are depleted, bankruptcy ensues, and SAPL Outfits will be forced to shut down. The SAPL Corporate Division hasn’t been available for a response on this matter. It was expected that they’d create a reserve fund for Football Teams in the SAPL, with this never happening. Relief aid instead came from other governing associations in South Africa.

DSAC Relief Aid Processing Commences

The Department for Sports, Arts and Culture in South Africa announced this month that a relief fund would be provided to athletes. It’d account for R150 Million, allowing for professional athletes and artistic communities to maintain their livelihood. Nobody has anticipated this relief aid, with South Africa often leaving their civilians to fend for themselves. COVID-19 has prompted the shift of behaviour for government-entities like DSAC. Assisting their artistic communities and associated athletes have become their most significant priority. It was proven after DSAC requested that these individuals apply for the relief aid by April 6th. Finances provided to athletes and artists are meant to pay for necessities like groceries, electricity, and water.

Sports Applications Status

Submitted applications surprised the artists & sporting department, receiving thousands of applications. Three hundred of this application was uniquely associated with sporting ministers, panellists, adjudicators, and organizers. These individuals also require financial relief throughout this unprecedented period. The Department of Sports, Arts & Culture was surprised that 90% of the applications were submitted within 48 hours of the announcement.

It shows how much these funds were required for these specific communities. DSAC disappointedly announced that 11.4% of the applications experienced technical errors, prompting them to be electronically returned. Individuals affected will encounter minor delays with receiving their financial relief, with funds expected to be distributed by April 25th at the latest.

The Department revealed that six thousand applications were submitted, with an influx of these inquiries not on the relief aid. This prompted leaders with DSAC to criticize parties responsible for these actions, stating that the funds aren’t meant for their egotistical ideologies. These inquiries pertained to Non-Related Projects, requests that DSAC invest into a potential business. It should be noted that falsified inquiries applied to 1000 of the 6000 applications submitted. The remaining 5000 are being processed by an adjudicator panel, with funds already being distributed to the 1st round of applicants. The latest funds will be provided will be April 25th, with the influx of speed capable thanks to advanced technological processes known as MPPs.

It should be noted that various sporting organizations like the South African Cricket Board, have implemented specialized relief aids for their athletes. Those individuals were permitted the opportunity to receive specialized relief from both DSAC and the SACB.

Relief Fund Provided to South African Athletes

The Department of Sports, Arts & Culture for South Africa confirmed that they’d created a Relief Fund to ensure the livelihood of those impacted by COVID-19. This will apply to individuals in the athletic or artistic community. Those individuals will need a connection to the Department to receive their relief funds. Eligible athletes will receive finances from a 150 Million Rand Fund, which is the equivalent of $8.54 Million. The South Africa Sports Confederation & Olympic Committee agreed that this relief aid best suited these communities. First payments will be released by April 15th.

Athletes generate their revenue entirely from weekly sporting events. Having those weekly venues cancelled for a prolonged period has put an immediate stop to their paycheques. Without this relief fund, they’d eventually become homeless for being unable to pay their monthly bills. The Department is requiring that proof be provided, ensuring that those applying online have the necessary tax information and personal identification to receive funding. Those unable to provide this proof won’t be liable for the relief aid.

Compensation is also being provided to organizers within the Department. They’ll be permitted to offer spreadsheets to online proof, showing which products or services were purchased for their selected sports association. Cross checks will be maintained for proof requirements, with spreadsheets continually being required every month. The DSAC didn’t make specific which percentage of the relief fund is viable to organizers. It’ll be dependent on the resource’s availability, which could be minimal after paying out numerous athletes and coaching staff.

The Backlash

It should be noted that this relief fund applies exclusively to National Athletes, Coaches and Organizers. Those that haven’t received national status are applicable for this program and could face significant fines if applications are submitted. These applications are maintained through automated systems, which can make mistakes and unnecessary prompt approval. Those that don’t have national status and receive unexpected support will either have to pay back that amount or receive criminal charges. The DSAC was forced to implement this protocol after an influx of South African citizens applied for the Government’s relief aid, without them having any prior working experience.

South African Homeless Forced into Pretoria Soccer Stadium

Soldiers throughout South Africa have become aggressive towards locals amidst the coronavirus pandemic. This follows after the President of South Africa allowed for extreme measures to be imposed by local governments. Video footage from April 1st and onwards reveal armoured personnel carriers with weaponized soldiers. Airhorns scream to “Go Home Immediately”, with those not listening being arrested or physically harmed.

The South African Government didn’t consider the overwhelming number of homeless individuals in their nation. Young men, woman and children living on the street of Johannesburg walked from their hidden quarters to see the commotion. Some were interviewed on their future, with a homeless man expressing that COVID-19 will be deadly for the homeless community. They don’t have the luxuries of paid healthcare or respectable living quarters, increasing their chances of receiving this virus. Johannesburg isn’t the only city facing these issues. Multiple jurisdictions across South Africa are overwhelmed with homeless communities.

The significant divide between South Africa’s wealthy and poor was made evident during the first day of lockdown. SA is considered an unequal society, with racism and poverty running rampant. Those losing in notable suburbs have experienced an overwhelming increase of robberies from the homeless community. Deaths have followed with Suburban Communities forced into a three week self-isolation period. Their opponents sometimes outmatch those defending their property.

The Fallout

Increasing crime rates prompted the Johannesburg Law Enforcement to locate 1000+ homeless individuals in their region. They were sent to an abandoned soccer stadium in Pretoria, the Capital of South Africa. Individuals most likely infected with COVID-19 were forced into conditions were self-isolation was possible. Tents were provided for sleeping quarters, with those meant to manage three individuals at most. Ten homeless individuals are being forced into a single tent, defeating the purpose of self-isolation.

Those refusing to live in these tents have gone towards the bleachers, which risks the chance of being robbed or murdered. It’s created a breeding ground for death, with reporters claiming that the South African Government are condemning these men to death. There aren’t any medical supplies available to these homeless individuals, with drugs also running rampant. Dealers can be seen entering and leaving the facility regularly.

Jamie Roberts returns to the United Kingdom

Rugby athletes globally have been returning home following the Covid-19 Pandemic. This has now extended towards Jamie Roberts, who has been located in South Africa for a prolonged period. He’d initially been expected to remain self-isolated in Cape Town but after new travel restrictions were implemented, the 33 Years of Age Rugby Star returned home.

He flew from South Africa to England several hours before SA would enter their lockdown. These unprecedented times are forcing millions worldwide to alter their daily plans, with Jamie Roberts now unable to compete for Super Rugby’s “Stormers”. Ten games were completed throughout his contract with the Stormers before Super Rugby postponed their season. South Africa is now in an official lockdown period until April 15th.

Providing Accommodations for NHS Staff

Jamie Roberts celebrity across the United Kingdom grew exponentially throughout the last two weeks. He began offering his “Flat” in Cardiff to medical works with the National Health Service. This property is typically rented for weekly visits at $2,500.00. Providing free boarding to NHS Volunteers, Doctors or Nurses comes as a significant loss for the athlete. When questioned on why he’s donating the Flat until the Covid-19 pandemic is over, Jamie Roberts expressed that it’s better to be used by our heroes than some random individual.

Reporters requested if anybody was currently staying in the Cardiff Flat, where Jamie Roberts mentioned that an Emergency Doctor started staying there on Friday. Upwards of six individuals can live in this Cardiff Flat, with Roberts wanting to switch-out the workers every two weeks. It should be mentioned that this Rugby Star was previously trained as a professional doctor, having 3+ years of experience in the medical field. It’s not surprising that he’d support his previous community.

The Stormers

It hasn’t been confirmed if Jamie Roberts will return with the South African Stormers. There’s the chance that postponed seasons with both the British Rugby League and Super Rugby will force his respective contracts to be altered. The British & Irish Lions have priority control over Roberts future, meaning that SA would lose out on this formidable talent. It’ll be one of the countless fallouts associated with Covid-19.

Kaizer Chiefs Request Supporters Practice Social Distancing

The Covid-19 Global Pandemic is forcing sporting associations, medical experts and large-scale corporations to warn their respective supporters to practice social distancing measures. The latest sporting association to request emergency measures were the Kaizer Chiefs with the South African Premier League. This request followed after the number of confirmed cases rose above two hundred. Fifty-one of these cases were established in 24 hours. It should be mentioned that Kaizer Chiefs stand as number one in the league’s standings, with the postponement of the season and training potentially affecting their outcome. The more that supporters practice social distancing, the faster that the South African Premier League can re-start.

Representatives with the Kaizer Chiefs provided a public statement through their website. They encouraged that social distancing is implemented, with their respective mass gatherings being limited to 100 supporters. It was also noted that stringent measures to ensure the limited exposure of Covid-19 must be performed by all sporting organizations holding small-scale venues. Kaizer Chiefs finished their remarks by expressing that the wellbeing of supporters is the most important thing moving forward. They urged citizens to trust the government guidelines and implement hygiene protocols for the safety of their overall community.

Postponement

March 19th marked the date that South Africa Premier League officials confirmed the league would be taking a delay. Fears surrounding the Covid-19 has forced the immediate closure of football across South Africa for an unspecified period. Whenever the league is re-instated, the Kaizer Chiefs will stand four-points ahead of their competitors. It’ll provide them with a severe advantage and potentially enable them to win the championship. Officials confirmed that the close-out of 2020s season would commence before August.

The South African Premier League officially stated that the safety of local communities is more important that maintaining the 2020 season. Decisions were made after discussions were held between the Board of Governors and the PSL Executive Committee. It should be noted that this decision was supported by the National Government, Ministry of Sports, Ministry of Health and the South African Police Service. We also stand by this decision and recommend our readers implement social distancing measures.