Johannesburg - The Premier Soccer League showed their backbone on Thursday when they ordered that the abandoned Absa Premiership match between title chasing Mamelodi Sundowns and Moroka Swallows will be replayed at the Super Stadium on Friday night at 7.30pm.
But the game will continue from the 36th minute with Swallows leading 2-0 and not from the start at 0-0. This was announced late on Thursday afternoon by PSL CEO Kjetil Siem.
Downs are on 52 points five behind leaders SuperSport United. Downs have three matches to play and United two.
However, the floodlight failure, the weather plus next month’s Bafana Bafana camp in Brazil threw a major spanner in the works for the PSL who are have done a great job in rearranging the postponed matches and the last two rounds of the league before March 6 to allow Bafana to have a three week camp in Brazil.
The Downs-Birds game was abandoned at the Super Stadium on Wednesday night when the floodlights failed in the 36th minute with the Birds leading 2-0.
The match was held up earlier due to heavy rain.
Sundowns wanted to have the match replayed from 0-0. But the PSL upheld their rules.
But explained Siem: “If the weather had been the cause of the match being abandoned as was the case with the other match played in Pretoria on Wednesday night – the Kaizer Chiefs-Mpumalanga Black Aces fixture which was called off due to rain then we would not have had a problem starting it at 0-0.
“We waited until we received the referee and match commissioner’s reports and both stated the game was abandoned due to floodlight failure. In that case our rules are clear and that the match had to be restarted form the time it was abandoned. That means the game restarts in the 36th minute with Swallows leading 2-0.”
In the case of the Chiefs-Aces match which was called off because of rain it will be replayed from 0-0 next Wednesday night at Loftus despite the fact that when the match was abandoned in the first half Chiefs were leading 1-0.
But it believed that Downs are not happy and could launch an appeal. Said Siem: “In a case like this (electrical fault) then we first ask the clubs to agree to a replay date within 48 hours in accordance with the fair play rule. We have informed the clubs and of the situation and both failed to agree on a replay date and time. So in our accordance with our rules the PSL CEO has the right to decide on the replay date and venue which is what I did.”
Siem also explained at a hastily convened media f briefing that because of the tight schedule they were forced to reshuffle the fixture list to accommodate the Sundowns-Swallows game.
”With Sundowns challenging for the league we had to come up with a fair solution and once we had the referee’s and match commissioner’s reports and taken legal advice then we decided that the game had to be staged in 48 hours which is Friday night whether or not the teams agreed.”
Siem said that the postponement meant that the entire Saturday fixture schedule had to be shelved and rearranged for next Wednesday night.
Said Siem: “After Wedenday all teams will have one match to play and that is fair to everyone.”
The PSL boss said that the only fixture no affected on Saturday was the Soweto Derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates will go ahead as scheduled at Orlando Stadium at 3.30pm.
The PSL have moved the Aces-Bloemfontein Celtic game at Witbank’s Puma Stadium to Saturday night at 8.15pm with Aces replay against Chiefs at Loftus next Wednesday night.
The other six remaining Saturday matches have all been rescheduled for Wednesday night.
Siem said that the PSL could not extend the season beyond Match 6 as they had an agreement with Safa to allow the Bafana squad to leave for Brazil on March 7 for the camp.