News that the Premiership match between Cape Town City and Stellenbosch FC has been moved from Cape Town Stadium has not been received well by the owner of the former, John Comitis, who has accused the City of not caring about football.
Apparently, a traction test was done on the pitch at Cape Town Stadium and it was found to be not ready for matches to be played on it yet.
This has resulted in the fixture being moved to the Athlone Stadium just four days before kick-off.
Corrective maintenance for Cape Town Stadium pitch
This follows major corrective maintenance that was carried out on the field during the off-season.
“It is important to note that the Cape Town Stadium hosted 36 events during the 2018/19 season. During this time, the pitch became compacted and slippery, hence the necessity for corrective maintenance to be conducted,” said Lesley de Reuck, chief executive for the Cape Town Stadium.
The maintenance has been ongoing for the last two months and involved removing the top 15 milimetres of the pitch and replaced with a layer of sand to help the soil underneath recover and re-level the pitch.
However, during the repairs, it was found that netting was required to be laid below the surface of the pitch to add stability before grass could be relaid, which was eventually done on 20 June.
Weather hampers maintenance efforts
According to De Reuch, the inclement weather Cape Town has been experiencing, although fantastic news for residents and the dam system have not been good for pitch preparation.
“We gave it as much time as possible as we wanted the grass to grow and strengthen. Unfortunately, the grass has not knitted sufficiently and can pose a danger to the players. Thus, the difficult decision was made to move the match to the Athlone Stadium,” De Reuck said.
According to De Reuch, every effort was made to ensure the pitch was ready in time, including running growing lights 24 hours a day, but it wasn’t enough in the end.
Comitis rages at City of Cape Town
Despite the explanation, Comitis is far from pleased. He pointed to the fact that it is no secret the football season starts in August, so he believes there is no excuse for the pitch not to be ready.
“This is yet another careless and undermining of professional football in Cape Town by the Cape Town Stadium management,” he said in a statement.
He claims last-minute decisions by the City to change venues can potentially cost the club millions in lost revenue.
“The implications and damages relating to being kicked out of the Cape Town Stadium at the last minute are astronomical,” he said.
“In the last day we have had to cancel corporate and sponsorship activity‚ ticket bookings in the thousands‚ suite bookings and risk losing national broadcasting. This costs the sport and the club millions.”
Source link : https://www.thesouthafrican.com/sport/soccer/psl-south-africa/comitis-rages-as-cape-town-stadium-not-ready-for-premiership-fixture/
Publish date : 2019-08-06 11:31:25