PSL, SAFA Set for MDC Showdown

23 Oct 2019

Sunday World’s Xolile Mtshazo is reporting that SAFA and the PSL are engaged in ongoing talks to avoid a looming showdown regarding the running of the MultiChoice Diski Challenge (MDC) under-21 reserve league by the PSL, instead of it falling under SAFA.

At stake are the millions that MultiChoice has pumped into the MDC under the PSL over the years.

But SAFA is of the view that as the custodians of amateur football in the country, the under-21 league should be run from SAFA House as an amateur reserve league and not by the professional body.

SAFA insiders have revealed that the national association has allegedly rejected a formal written request from the PSL to have the “amateur league” run by the PSL.

But SAFA Acting CEO Russell Paul said discussions were ongoing.

“We have not finalised anything regarding that matter,” he said. “We have actually not made any progress so far. We have written to the NSL [PSL] and we are waiting for their response.”

Acting PSL CEO Mato Madlala downplayed the fact that the impasse had the potential to strain the relations between the two football bodies.

“There is nothing of that sort. You are speaking of a looming showdown, but we have not even discussed this matter,” said Madlala. “We had a meeting with SAFA this week and what you are talking about was not even discussed. We have a good working relationship with SAFA. The meeting we had had nothing to do with what you are asking me. What’s new? Every league around the world has a reserve league.”

Insiders from both camps have revealed that SAFA rejected a proposal from the PSL to change the MDC reserve league into an amateur league.

Early this year, the PSL announced that the MDC would increase the number of matches played from 120 to 240 to increase the tournament’s reach to local communities. The matches are broadcast live on the pay channels of SuperSport.

In addition, the MDC Shield was to be remodelled into a Top 8 knockout competition.

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