Netball SA president Cecilia Molokwane also hit out at the organisers of Stellensport, who announced plans to launch a tournament in the Western Cape to find talent within the province.
The League’s a 14-week round-robin netball tournament, including playoffs and finals which will be kicking off in 2021. The tournament will consist of 10 premier netball teams from all districts of the Western Cape.
Speaking on the league, Molokwane said Netball SA has not given the green light or been informed about the tournament.
“I just hear rumours like you that it’s going on and everything that has to do with netball in this country has to be endorsed by Netball South Africa. We didn’t endorse that. we don’t know about it. We don’t know why they are doing that. We have contacted them to say ‘we see you going about saying this and we don’t know about it so can you please give us clarity on certain issues’. We are waiting for them to give us clarity”.
While sport across the globe has been on pause, Molokwane revealed her year plan in an attempt to get some playing time for the country’s top professionals.
She announced that the Telkom Netball League and Spar Champions will go ahead this year while the 2021 Youth World Championships will continue in Fiji next year in June as per the International Netball Federation (INF) initial plan.
However, Africa Qualifiers would not be taking place this year and a ranking system will be used to determine the 2021 Youth World Championship participants.
As for the Diamond Challenge, the federation is still planning on hosting it.
Three nations, World number three Jamaica, Malawi, and neighbors eSwatini, were approached in February before the global coronavirus pandemic grounded all sporting codes globally.
Whether this tournament happens or not will depend on the travel restriction in the country and the other countries, respectively.
With level three of lockdown now activated in the country, players are only allowed to resume training but will have to wait for the country to reach level one before playing games.
With issues such as some of their players living in COVID-19 hotspot areas set to be a hurdle to games going ahead, Molokwane says the body will be engaging government on the way ahead.
“We will still go back as an executive and talk on what is the way forward to make sure we adhere to all these rules. What do we do? How do we make sure that our players are being tested and when will they be tested? How will they be tested? Who will be testing them? So those are the things we will be looking at by working with government,” she told journalists in an online press briefing.
Molokwane also admitted that the netball body would need to go back to the drawing board in order to find money to conduct twice-weekly COVID-19 testing for players.
“Money-wise, budget-wise, truly speaking, I am not going to lie, we didn’t budget for this. All of us never foresaw this thing coming. All that we have budgeted for and sponsors have given us, is what we normally use. We have to go back to the drawing board, as usual, to make sure we cover those things and make sure whatever we do is done in the best interests of players”.
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