Stars lament "premature" stadium call

Posted: 18 May 2018 Time: 12:15

Free State Stars general manager Rantsi Mokoena says it was a premature call to have the Nedbank Cup final played at Cape Town Stadium.

Stars take on Maritzburg United in the Mother City on Saturday night (19h00) and Mokoena knows very well that both sides will struggle to fill the stadium that was built for the FIFA World Cup in 2010.

Stars will have about 15 buses of supporters going to Cape Town for the cup decider, their first topflight final since they lost to Mamelodi Sundowns in the 1999 Rothmans Cup.

"There’s been a lot of help from the province and the municipality and we really are grateful to the department of sports, the MEC and the premier. They’ve availed 10 buses, which will be shared between Bethlehem and Qwa-Qwa, because those are the two biggest areas where we’ve got support. And we must thank the local mayor because she has availed buses, so we will have about 15 buses going to Cape Town.

"It’s a big number in terms of buses, but a bus takes about 60 to 65 people, so if you talking 10 buses, that’s 650 people. But it must be appreciated because we will have buses going to Cape Town."

Mokoena says it will be difficult to have the stadium filled tomorrow.

"I do believe it was a bit premature to make the decision," he told media during a press conference on Tuesday.

"The game being in Cape Town is a bit far. You could add on five other teams that are not Chiefs, Pirates or Sundowns and we will not fill the stadium. Logistically it’s far, which means supporters must travel 1500kms. The game is at night, which means they must sleep over and drive back on Sunday. I suspect a lot of people will be looking for jobs on Monday. I hope they have taken leave, but we certainly need the support.

"I know Nedbank is also going on a drive in Cape Town to try get numbers into the stadium. I am told they are speaking to the City of Cape Town in terms of transport and bringing into the stadium. But maybe the decision was premature." 

Article by: Tshepang Mailwane

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