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.