New 2020-21 South Africa season to start in October

The new 2020-21 season in South Africa is due to start on October 17 with the quarterfinals of the knockout MTN8 competition, before the league campaign gets underway a week later.

The announcement was made by the Premier Soccer League on Wednesday, who completed their 2019-20 campaign with the extensive assistance of the South African Football Association, the latter providing the framework within which it could be completed.

That included a bio-bubble environment, but the new season will be played at the home venues of the clubs, with the South African government having opened up inter-provincial travel. Games will, however, still be played behind closed doors.

The prize-money for the new DSTV Premiership season will remain the same, meaning the inaugural winners will receive R15-million for lifting the trophy.

The maiden DSTV Premiership matches will be preceded by the MTN8 quarterfinals, with those matches set to be played on the weekend of October 17-18, and will officially kick-off the campaign.

The quarterfinals will see Mamelodi Sundowns play Bloemfontein Celtic in a repeat of the 2020 Nedbank Cup final, Kaizer Chiefs battle Maritzburg United, Orlando Pirates play Cape Town City, and Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhadila host SuperSport United.

The PSL also confirmed there would be no Telkom Knockout competition in the upcoming campaign after the telecoms giant pulled out.

“It is one less competition for this season, but this season only,” PSL chairman Dr Irvin Khoza said. “But it could be a blessing in disguise as it does help us with the fixture list.

“We have to finish the season in early June at the latest, and it will be a tight squeeze this season because of the late start. The fixtures are almost ready, we are just putting the finishing touches to them.”

Mamelodi Sundowns were crowned the champions of the 2019-20 campaign earlier this month.