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SA SOCCER NEWS
PSL confirm kick-off dates 02/08/04
PSL boss Trevor Phillips has confirmed that both the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and the Mvela Golden League (MGL) will start with a full compliment of clubs on August 6 and August 28 respectively.

Orlando Pirates and Jomo Cosmos kick-off the PSL on Friday night at the Johannesburg Stadium, while defending champions Kaizer Chiefs will be hosted by Dynamos at the Giyani Stadium on Sunday.

PSL chief executive Trevor Phillips confirmed the starting date for the 2004/05 season at a press conference on Monday.

Phillips also reiterated that there will be enough referees for both leagues to run smoothly, despite the arrests of 30 referees in 'Operation Dribble'.

"We have got a good panel of referees. They just need all the support they can get," Phillips said. "I think we have to accept the fact that perhaps we will have to go into the season with some inexperienced referees."

He added that the referees implicated in the alleged match-fixing and corruption scandal have been suspended with immediate effect from all football activities.

"They are suspended with immediate effect pending the finalisation of their cases with the state," he said.

Concerns also arose after three officials linked to Bush Bucks and Bloemfontein Celtic, both newly promoted to the PSL, were arrested, but Phillips revealed that the PSL were still awaiting evidence from the South African Football Association (SAFA) to prove the clubs' involvement in corruption.

"The league has requested SAFA (the South African Football Association) to provide it with any relevant evidence that they have in their possession," he added. "But they have been reluctant to do so for fear of prejudicing the ongoing criminal investigations.

"Should the league come into possession of prima facie evidence of bribery or corruption involving any club, player, owner or official within its jurisdiction, it will institute disciplinary proceedings against such club, player, owner or official without waiting for finalisation of the pending criminal proceedings," said Phillips.

However, the PSL boss admitted that the league cannot assume the correctness of allegations published in the media and must give the affected parties the benefit of presumption of innocence.

"Should the league still not be in possession of any solid evidence on which to rely, for purposes of instituting internal disciplinary proceedings by the scheduled date, it must be accepted that the season will commence as per scheduled," he said.

Meanwhile, the PSL confirmed that they received a written apology from Mamelodi Sundowns for their late arrival for the Telkom Charity Cup final against Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday, which delayed the kick-off by 30 minutes, insisting that they needed more time to rest.

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