S'Busiso Mseleku

The PSL is back in full swing - or is it?

2017-02-10 14:22
S’Busiso Mseleku (File)

A total of 17 goals were scored in the 16 matches that were played between Tuesday and Wednesday as the PSL made its return following the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) induced break.

And after a long wait, the league started with a bang! Why, with 15 goals coming from the four matches played on Tuesday with title-contenders Bidvest Wits banging five without response.

Other champions-elect, Cape Town City would not be left behind as well as they pumped three past a hapless Highlands Park.

Those goals saw the two clubs climb to the summit of the log, at least overnight, until SuperSport United reclaimed top with a 5-2 victory over Golden Arrows on Wednesday night.

Kaizer Chiefs had also managed a rare three goals in a 3-1 victory over Free State Stars on Tuesday. This scoreline saw Steve Komphela’s side continue with their winning streak which started in December just before the break.

At an average of 3.1 goals per match in the eight games played over the two days, fans should not be complaining.

But therein lies the rub.

After seeing a headline “PSL Back In Full Swing”, I thought, yes it is back but the word Full must be used very guardedly.

For starters, as usual, we had a goalless draw in the much anticipated match featuring Platinum Stars and Orlando Pirates.

Polokwane City and Maritzburg City only managed two goals between them in a 1-all draw, while defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns produced a solitary strike to beat Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 away.

While the quality of football was sizzling in some matches such as Chiefs/Free State Stars, Platinum Stars/Pirates as well as Wits who showed some determination and class, this cannot be said for most of the games.

Some were quite pedestrian.

And the tendency to miss sitters was evident as Free State Stars players showed that they had left their scoring boots at home.

But for me the most disturbing sight was the rows and rows of empty seats.

If South African soccer fans were so starved of action, why did they not turn out in big numbers?

Are we really as soccer-mad as we purport to be as a country?

While the PSL recently celebrated a 10-year partnership with SuperSport, is there something that can be done to bring bums back to seats inside the stadiums?

It is a sight for sore eyes to witness this situation at stadiums where cameras sometimes focus on a small band of supporters because the other areas (actually most) of the stadium are just empty.

Where is the passion gone to?

South Africa used to witness packed stadium week in and week out in the past even during midweek games.

What has gone wrong?

A solution needs to be found as it is not fair on players to play their hearts out while only watched by empty seats. This is a challenge for club sand the PSL leadership as a whole.

S'Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of the biggest awards in a career spanning over 30 years. He is currently City Press Sports Editor.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

Read more on:    psl  |  s’busiso mseleku  |  soccer


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