Kaizer Chiefs have said they would only decide in the coming week if they would take part in the Champions League, but the PSL yesterday released next season’s full schedule which accommodates all four of SA’s representatives in next year’s continental competitions.
Chiefs, runners-up from last season, and champions Mamelodi Sundows are set to partake in the Champions League, while Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates will represent SA in the Confederation Cup.
Consequently, there are several weekends where, according to the PSL schedule, all four will be absent from domestic duties next year, starting from the middle of February.
If Chiefs pull out, it would mean their matches shifted from CAF weekends have to be rescheduled. “That won’t be a problem because we already have the dates from CAF,” said PSL general manager Derek Blanckensee.
Blanckensee said the league had asked all four teams to confirm their participation in CAF competitions. “But we haven’t had a reply yet. We are not worried about that because the teams are not obliged to tell us. They have to tell Safa, who in turn will inform CAF. In any case, the deadline is still some way to go.”
The league’s programme kicks off in two weeks’ time with the MTN8 quarterfinals. Sundowns open the Absa Premiership programme with a home clash against Maritzburg United on August 8.
Notably, the PSL ensured the MTN8 semifinals – played over two legs – will take place on successive weekends (August 16 and 23) to avoid last year’s chaos, when they had to be postponed from a midweek date after Kaizer Chiefs drew Orlando Pirates.
This season, the Soweto giants first clash on November 1, with the second round fixture taking place on March 7.