Pirates' fixture madness continues

Orlando Pirates

The Ghost will only see their team playing League football again almost six weeks from now.

The PSL has confirmed that Pirates’ Premiership fixtures against Mpumalanga Black Aces (November 6), Moroka Swallows (November 10) and SuperSport United (November 24) have all been postponed to dates yet to be determined.

This brings to eight the number of League matches involving Pirates the PSL has been forced to move forward because of Bucs’ fantastic run in the Champions League.

Pirates’ fixtures have been so bizarre that their three League games to date have been played at a rate of one per month from August-October, and they will not play a single League match in November.

The only confirmed domestic fixture Bucs will now play in November is the Telkom Knockout semi-final against SuperSport on November 23.

The other two weekends available that month are already taken up – November 15-19 being a Fifa calendar date while November 30 is the Telkom Knockout Final weekend.

Pirates – who are already five games behind most teams in the League, despite having already played 17 official matches to date – will only resume their League campaign with a trip to Maritzburg United on December 3.

And that match against Maritzburg, at a venue yet to be determined, comes just three days after the TKO Final, should Bucs make it through the semis.

After the Maritzburg match Pirates are scheduled to host Bloemfontein Celtic, but the other two League matches they are scheduled to play before Christmas – against Platinum Stars (December 16) and Golden Arrows (December 22) – will have to make way for the Fifa Club World Cup – to be played from December 11-21 – should Pirates win the Champions League.

This would mean Ezimnyama Ngenkani go into the festive break having played just five League matches.

And the first two matches Pirates are scheduled to play in the new year, against AmaZulu (January 23) and Ajax Cape Town (January 27), are also under threat of being pushed back, depending on how many players Bucs provide to the home-based national team in the African Nations Championship, running from January 11-February 1.

If Pirates are crowned champions of Africa, then yet another of their domestic fixtures will have to make way when they play in the 2014 CAF Super Cup against the winners of the CAF Confederations Cup, which is to be played sometime in February.

In the meantime, with Pirates faced with such a hectic fixture programme, the PSL has left all eight postponed League matches to dates that are yet to be confirmed.

The PSL fixture list shows only another 19 League fixtures, with the eight already postponed provisionally left out.

The League is only expected to be able to find dates for those games once Pirates complete their CAF commitments.