Telkom semis venue: United turned down

2010-11-16 00:00

MARITZBURG United’s attempt to have the decision to move their Telkom Knockout semi-final against Orlando Pirates on Sunday from Harry Gwala Stadium to Chatsworth Stadium overturned failed yesterday.

United chairperson Farouk Kadodia travelled to Johannesburg yesterday to state his club’s case to the Telkom Knockout organising committee at the Premier Soccer League’s offices.

United’s brand manager, Younus Kadodia, said: “The league kept to its original point in regard to the letter provided to it by the Pretoria SAPF about not being able to guarantee Harry Gwala Stadium as safe for the match.

“We tried to make our point, but acting CEO Ronnie Schloss said the league had its rules and the matter was out of the hands of the PSL because of the Pretoria police’s letter.”

The PSL’s decision has been a controversial one.

The league claimed the matter is out of its hands due to a letter from the Pretoria visible policing division stating that Harry Gwala could not be guaranteed as safe. The main reasons were that there is not enough parking at Harry Gwala, access routes are not good enough, and a lack of room away from the turnstiles for a ticket checking zone. But Harry Gwala has more parking and better access routes than Chatsworth Stadium.

Farouk Kadodia said that his club yesterday offered to provide park- and-ride facilities for the semi-final from three venues at its own cost from Golden Horse Casino, Woodburn Stadium and UKZN-PMB University, but this was rejected.

“I even asked Dr Schloss to see the correspondence from the Pretoria police passing Chatsworth as safe, and he informed me this guarantee had been received over the phone,” Kadodia said.

Contacted last night to confirm that a guarantee was received tby phone, Schloss responded: “All this getting involved is becoming like children. The league has made its decision and I’m not prepared to comment on that.”

A letter was sent by the Pietermaritzburg police last week stating it has the capability to hold the match at Harry Gwala in complete safety.

United fan Daniel Haswell said he is organising a supporters’ protest, at which United fans will hold placards at Sunday’s semi-final.

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