Absa Premiership

Leopards hopeful of remaining at Thohoyandou Stadium

2018-06-01 13:20
Black Leopards (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Newly-promoted Black Leopards are confident that they will be able to play their home matches at the Thohoyandou Stadium next season.

Leopards returned to the Absa Premiership after a five-year absence when they clinched victory in the promotion play-offs following a 1-0 win over Jomo Cosmos on Wednesday.

But while their home ground, the Thohoyandou Stadium, has been suitable for National First Division matches, which only take place in the afternoon, there had been talk that Leopards may have to play their home games at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.

That would have taken away one of the club’s biggest advantages – playing in front of their partisan home fans in what is nearly always a packed stadium, the rural location right on the northern border of the country and a very tough venue for any visiting team.

However, Lidoda Duvha chairman David Thidiela is optimistic that the ground will be ready to meet PSL standards.

"I'm going nowhere, the team belongs here, the owners are here," he told KickOff.

"During a working day, not a holiday, at 10:30am the tickets were sold out. We will comply. You saw the premier was there, Julius Malema was there, our king was there, the other chiefs around here. The mayors were there, the executive mayor, everybody was there.

"So this is the only place where people are so passionate in soccer. The MEC was on radio this morning. We are busy here, we are going to get this facility right. We just have to comply with the rules and we are going to comply.

"PSL football will boost our economy here, sports play a very important role you know," Thidiela continued.

"We've got plenty of fruits here and people will buy. We are bringing the tourists this side because of soccer. We are not going to move away from here, Chiefs, Pirates, everybody will play at Thohoyandou next season. Everybody is coming to the slaughterhouse," he added.

PSL official Ronnie Schloss was then quoted as saying that if a few relatively minor issues are sorted out, the Thohoyandou Stadium could well get the green-light for top-flight football action next season.

Read more on:    black leopards  |  absa premiership  |  soccer
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