Notoane laments weed-infested SA fields

SA National Teams

South Africa under-23 and Mamelodi Sundowns MDC coach David Notoane has called on local councillors to fix our community fields for the sake of our football.

Last weekend Notoane expressed his disappointment about the facilities at Mpumalanga Stadium, where Sundowns played in the MultiChoice Diski Challenge.

Incidentally, struggling AmaZulu have found themselves playing at Kings Park Stadium recently because of the poor conditions of Durban facilities, including Moses Mabhida Stadium.

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Notoane said the biggest challenge in South Africa is the standard of football facilities in our communities, especially in the townships, and believes before we look at the standard of professional football we must discuss the poor state of community facilities.

"The bigger challenge of course, it's always saddening when you come to a stadium like this and you see weeds all over the stadium," he said.

"And we want to take the national team to the next level. I mean you can't produce quality football if you don't have quality facilities, that is a reality.

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"So maybe before we talk of winning, we should also look at into the municipalities. I mean I don't understand, there's budget and everything.

"Sometimes you go through local communities and you see dusty pitches. It's sad you know, 30 years since Tata Madiba delivered the freedom speech.

"And I said before, this field here I was scared that we don't catch any virus, because there's a coronavirus in China. We hope there's no weed virus here because we were playing on a pitch filled with weeds."

The state of our fields cannot be sorted out by SAFA as they are owned by the government and Notoane believes it is not the president or mayor's problem.

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Notoane says local counsellors must play their role in making sure community facilities are in a good enough condition for the youth to be well developed.

"It's disappointing. From the national perspective these are the things that are important. To fix it's not the job of SAFA because the facilities are in our communities, so it's the government but not in the union buildings, it's our guys in the community, our councillors you know," he explained.

"It's not the problem of eThekwini mayor too, our councillors must make sure we give our children a fair opportunity in football life going forward, so they can also compete equally on the world stage."

Notoane, who will be looking at 78 players including 16 overage players for the 2020 Olympic squad, was asked about the current state of the national teams.

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"I think we've reached the phase where we qualify for major tournaments at junior level, but when it comes to Bafana Bafana we have to be patient," he said.

"But we were in Egypt [playing at AFCON] by the way, but most important for us is to really come out you know.

"The tournaments we go to, we must take our game to the next level, come out of the group stages to the quarter-finals, see if we can push ourselves on the way.

"Nothing is impossible in life if you really work hard, if you really prepare and have the right talent."