Rugby, soccer row spreads
Posted: 18 February 2009 Time: 11:17
It seems the on-going row between Mpumalanga Black Aces and the rugby authorities controlling the Pumas Stadium in Witbank has spread to the Eastern Province, where the wrangle between Bay United and the EP Rugby Union could see the club moving to East London.
Umlilo officials revealed to the Daily Dispatch yesterday that they were strongly considering the possibility of hosting their remaining PSL matches at East London’s Absa Stadium as a means of reducing costs.
Since last week’s stadium fiasco, when EPRU officials allegedly locked some stadium offices and thereby disrupted Bay’s preparations, Nelson Mandela Metro Municipality and Bay officials have been holding high-level talks to resolve the impasse.
Bay officials allege that EPRU resorted to such drastic measures as claiming the club owed them R174 000 (plus VAT) for their three previous home matches.
Bay spokesperson Vuyo Mvoko said that while the negotiations “were going well” thus far, they could not rule out the possibility of moving to East London.
“It remains a consideration. The Metro have come forward with a proposal which we are considering,” he said. “The proposal on the table demonstrates a level of seriousness on their part, but affordability and accessibility to host our home games at the EPRU are our major concerns.
“It is much cheaper to host games in East London and this is not only because of what the Buffalo City Municipality is able to provide, but because of the infrastructure available to us.”
Mvoko said this week that they hoped to finalise the matter soon.
It costs the PSL rookies outfit close to R200 000 to play at the EPRU, the home of the Mighty Elephants, in Port Elizabeth. The Border Rugby Football Union, proprietors of the Absa Stadium, charge a basic rate of R7 500, with Bay only being asked to take care of the field markings.