Phiri reveals MAPS 'blood spill' talk

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The future of the MAPS games is still safe despite the issue surrounding the venue, according to tournament organiser Maimane Alfred Phiri.

The demolition of the Madala Hostel Rotary Sportsfield in Alexandra to make space for a hostel development had brought doubts about the future of the biggest amateur football tournament in the country, which is held every off-season.

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However, the former Bafana Bafana and Moroka Swallows attacker says ekasi football lovers should not worry as the tournament will just be moved to a new venue.

"The tournament will always be there but the ground issue we don't want to say anything about it you see because it brings back some painful stuff," Phiri tells KickOff.com.

"You see I'm implicated in the issue of the ground and I have never refused anyone permission to use the ground. I wouldn't want to say anything about the ground at this present moment. We do have an alternative venue, the tournament is going to be there. We do have an alternative venue and it's Alexandra Stadium, it's renovated, it's okay.

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"We were told they are developing the hostel so we are not sure. That's why I'm saying there were so many talks about blood being spilled and whatever you see, and I was implicated so I don't want even to touch that subject of that ground anymore you see. The tournament will continue. At the moment we are just waiting for the government to open amateur football.

"This year we were celebrating 20 years so we are just waiting for the government to give amateur football a go-ahead so we can start preparations. As soon as they say it's Level 1 and events are allowed we will give a statement on when are we are starting, how are we going to play. But for now it's very difficult to say anything because as you can see the government has not yet said anything. We don't want to be part of the problem where we bring masses at the same time. You need to come with a solution to show you care about people's well-being. That's the reason we stopped it and didn't play in June."

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The MAPS games is an annual amateur sports festival that takes place in the township of Alexandra, North East of Johannesburg.

The games host four different sporting codes that see participants travelling from all over South Africa and neighbouring countries.

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