Bucs to open stadium


On Wednesday, last week it was announced that Sunday, November 23, would mark a historic day in the history of South African football when Swallows return to Orlando Stadium, the traditional home of South African football.

Swallows were set to host Platinum Stars on the day when the facility is officially re-opened after being under re-construction for the past two years.

However, a report put out by Sapa has Bucs’ communications spokesman Mickey Modisane as saying that Pirates’ Premiership match against Thanda Zulu Royals that was set for Coca-Cola Park on Saturday, November 22 has been switched to Orlando Stadium and will be used as the official opener for Orlando Stadium.

Modisane is quoted as saying Bucs are returning to their Soweto roots and will play their remaining home matches at the renovated Orlando Stadium this season, until the upgrading at Ellis Park is completed.

The historic stadium, that was built 49 years ago, has undergone a massive upgrading initially estimated to amount to R200-million ahead of the 2010 World Cup, during which it will be used a s a training venue.

Swallows’ boss Leon Prins told KickOff.com last week, “We are hosting Platinum Stars for the re-opening of the stadium. Though we would like to play further matches there for now, it is only the Platinum Stars match that is confirmed for the venue.”

Stars were initially scheduled to host Birds, but have chose to swap with Swallows and will now play their home game as a second round fixture on March 22 next year.

Although there was mention of Orlando Pirates also featuring in a double header fixture on the day, Bucs official Floyd Mbele dismissed this at the time.

“There is no such thing as of now,” said Mbele last week in response to being asked if Pirates will be back in Soweto.