Loss of Telkom not a knockout for PSL, says Irvin Khoza, Newsline

DURBAN – While the PSL is still celebrating their new sponsorship from DStv, the league also announced the departure of Telkom.

Last week, the PSL announced DStv as the new headline sponsor for the league for the next five years.

But yesterday PSL chairman Irvin Khoza revealed that they have parted ways with Telkom who were the sponsors of the knockout cup.

Khoza chose to look on the bright side of Telkom’s withdrawal: “It is good to be one competition less this season. It is blessing in disguise,” he said.

“Companies are suffering from different constraints. It shows the magnitude of the damage caused by the coronavirus. That’s why we are proud of DStv, who have come on board under these circumstances.

“There are one or two companies that were engaged, but DStv came to the party. Telkom has been a very good sponsor of ours,” Khoza detailed.

Telkom has been with the PSL since 2006.

Their withdrawal means Mamelodi Sundowns won’t get the opportunity to defend their crown in the new season that commences on October 17 with the MTN8.

The DStv Premiership will start the following weekend with opening games scheduled for October 24.

“I can definitely confirm that next season someone is going to take over from Telkom. We don’t have to have this space for this year because of the fixture congestion that we’ve already experienced. Remember, we are starting our fixtures in October. That has never happened. We will finish, I think, the latest first of June. We will have many back-to-back fixtures which is not good for the players.

“We are busy with our medical people to advise. There’s a lot of things that need to be done as cautions.

“Yes, Telkom is no longer with us but next season there will be another competition taking this space of Telkom,” Khoza explained.

The Q-innovations is set to continue in the DStv Premiership. The games will still be played behind closed doors until the government deems it safe to have fans.

“We know what football means to supporters. When he (the President) lifted gatherings from 50 to 100 people but he said nothing is changing in sports. That doesn’t give us comfort. In England they wanted to start with supporters but they have since changed gear and stopped it.

“They tried it in the Uefa Super Cup between Seville and Bayern Munich but the environment is different there. That’s why we are waiting for the signal from the government. We don’t want to create the expectations that we will never meet for the supporters,” Khoza stated.

It is not yet clear as to when the GladAfrica Championship will start.

The PSL are still waiting for the ABC Motsepe League teams to finish their matches. Two teams from Motsepe League need to be promoted into the Championship.