The 2019/2020 league season finally resume amid battling Covid-19 regulations.

Football News

The local football governing body in Mkhondo resolved to continue with the 2019/2020 league season which was disturbed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The decision to continue with the league was taken last week at a meeting of the Mkhondo Local Football Association (MKLFA) with clubs playing in Thandukukhanya Promotion League. At the meeting it was decided that league fixtures will not continue but the teams occupying first place will go the Mkhondo Promotional Playoffs set to take place this weekend on Saturday 21 November 2020.

The clubs agreed on the basis that there will not be enough time to finish the league fixtures and then make preparations for the new 2020/21 season which is expected to begin at the end of November or early December 2020. This season playoffs format was also changed from the traditional two day event. Normally the playoffs format would have been played via a points system/group stage format where clubs are divided into two groups (A&B) with the group winners meeting in the final.

Due to Covid-19 regulations the association decided on using preliminary rounds whereby the clubs closest to each other played to eliminate each other. The preliminary matches took place this past weekend when Stone Breakers FC (champions from Saul Mkhizeville Promotion League) played against Sinethemba Promotion League (Old stand) league winners Young Movers FC. Young Movers defeated Stone Breakers 3-2 in an exciting match played at Fast XI Ground to book their place in the top 4 of the playoffs. Teams from stream A&B of Thandukukhanya Promotion League also blocked horns on Sunday 15 November 2020 at Masenkeni Stadium. Junior United FC needed two 2nd half goals to defeat stream A champions Ajax Sweepers FC to book a place in the finale of the Mkhondo Promotion League playoffs.

The clubs agreed on the basis that there will not be enough time to finish the league fixtures and then make preparations for the new 2020/21 season which is expected to begin at the end of November or early December 2020.

The Mkhondo LFA then conducted a meeting and draw for the playoffs on Monday afternoon with representatives of the Sub LFAs and the four (4) qualified clubs which are: Junior United FC from Thandukukhanya Promotion League vs Atletico Madrid FC from Ngema-Dirkiesdorp Promotion League; Black Lion FC from Siyethemba Promotion League based at ward 15 Sulphur Springs will play against Young Movers FC from Sinethemba Promotion League based at New Stand, Saul Mkhizeville. The first match will begin at 9am on Saturday 21 November 2020 at Masenkeni Stadium, Thandukukhanya.

Mkhondo Promotion League Playoffs 2020 action from the past weekend. Junior United FC (Green) booked a place at the playoffs with 2 second half goals against Ajax Sweepers FC who scored none on Sunday 15 November 2020 at Masenkeni Stadium, Thandukukhanya. Picture: Thabiso Shabangu

The winner of the tournament will gain promotion and go straight to the SAB Regional League 2020/21 season which is expected to begin in December 2020. There will not be Gert Sibande Promotional Playoffs this season, instead all clubs from the seven (7) LFAs in the Gert Sibande Region will be promoted to the SAB League. The seven (7) clubs will be divided into Stream A&B with stream A promoting four (4) teams (Pixley Ka Isaka Seme LFA, Dipaleseng LFA, Lekwa and Govern Mbeki LFA). The stream B will receive three teams from Mkhondo LFA, Msukaligwa LFA and Chief Albert Luthuli LFA.

Other than promotion to the SAB Regional League the finalists will each receive a brand new playing kit, trophies, medals and match ball as part of their prizes to be provided by the Mkhondo Local Municipality. The new season of the Mkhondo Promotion League 2020/21 was not discussed but there are suggestions of skipping the season and begin with the 2021/22 season in August next year.

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