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Last updated: 14 March 2020 at 9:47 (SAST).
The Nedbank Cup quarterfinals are set to take centre-stage on the South African soccer calendar on the weekend, starting on Friday night where Real Kings are looking to upset Wits. Baroka vs Black Leopards, Highlands Park vs Mamelodi Sundowns and TS Sporting vs Bloemfontein Celtic are the other fixtures scheduled for the weekend.
South Africa has had 17 cases of the virus confirmed so far, but there has been no indication that sporting events – especially those at a purely domestic level – will be affected.
The South African Football Association shared a statement on Saturday saying there is no cause of alarm yet. The statement read as follows:
We wish to acknowledge that the Coronavirus is here with us. A number of cases have been reported by the Government and the Health Authorities. The sad news is that the number of people who have been affected by the virus is still growing at this stage.
However, the positive news is that the disease is not an epidemic in our country as yet. 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.
On our own, we have already taken measures to minimize travelling of our teams to severely affected areas. Last month, we withdrew our Olympic Team from participating in a friendly in Japan.
We have already developed precautionary measures for all our members, teams and clubs to use as a guideline to minimize contact with the virus. These measures have been posted on our website. We have also sent a circular to all our members advising them about the precautionary measure.
We welcome CAF’s decision to postpone all our matches during the 25 to 31 March 2020 period. This means that our senior men national team, Bafana Bafana, will not be playing Sao Tome e Principe in two weeks. However, the Bantwana (Under 17 girls) match will continue as scheduled on the 14 March 2020 at the Wits 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.
This position could change, pending the developments in the spread of the virus. We are reviewing the situation on a continuous basis.
PSL, Nedbank Cup current status: No change to fixtures.