PSL Trying to complete PSL season by end of June unrealistic doctor warns

PSL acting CEO Ms Mato Madlala said on Tuesday they still maintained hopes of completing its 2019-20 season by June 30. However, former Bafana Bafana medical doctor Mogoru Ntlopi says this is unrealistic.
PSL acting CEO Ms Mato Madlala said on Tuesday they still maintained hopes of completing its 2019-20 season by June 30. However, former Bafana Bafana medical doctor Mogoru Ntlopi says this is unrealistic.
Image: GALLO IMAGES/ ANESH DEBIKY

Former Bafana Bafana medical doctor Mogoru Ntlopi has warned that it is unrealistic for the Premier Soccer League (PSL) bosses to say the coronavirus-affected season could be completed by the end of June.

While the PSL offices will close for the 21-day lockdown declared by President Cyril Ramaphosa‚ acting CEO Mato Madlala said on Tuesday they still maintained hopes of completing its 2019-20 season by June 30.

Ntlopi disagreed with this view and said players’ bodies were going to go into a complete shutdown in the coming weeks.

“It is unrealistic to say the league will finish at the end of June‚” Ntlopi said.

“They must at least extend it to the end of July because players are going to come back very unfit.

“Players will not be able to go to the gym.

“They will only rely on training programmes they got from the clubs at home as they are not reporting for training.

“Some of them don’t have proper training equipment at home.

“To be honest‚ some are not going to follow those programmes  the clubs have given them and they are not going to strictly follow the right diets.

"I can guarantee you that they won’t be fully fit when they come back.”

Ntlopi‚ who is a sports physician and also studied medical law‚ has extensive experience in football medics having worked as a team doctor for Bafana under Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira in the buildup to the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

He has also worked as a team doctor for Mamelodi Sundowns‚ SuperSport United and Platinum Stars.

Ntlopi said the players would need rigorous sessions of at least a month similar to the intensity of preseason training when they returned.

If players are not properly conditioned‚ you are going to get a lot of injuries and the quality of the football is going to be very poor
Ex-Bafana doctor Mogoru Ntlopi

“If players are not properly conditioned‚ you are going to get a lot of injuries and the quality of the football is going to be very poor. My suggestion is to extend the season to the end of July.”

Ntlopi also warned that there were no guarantees all the players would come back healthy.

“At this point in time we are assuming that all the players are going to return to full training when the suspension is lifted‚” he said.

“The situation will be exacerbated if one of them returns with symptoms or having contracted the virus.

“If there is an extension to the end of the season‚ it is going to have a negative impact on the start of next season.

“You must remember that we still have the first division promotion and relegation play-offs in between.

“In my opinion‚ they must aim for this season to finish at the end of July and to start next season sometime in September.” — TimesLIVE


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