United fail to move Sundowns game to PMB

2009-02-02 00:00

MARITZBURG United have failed in an attempt to bring tomorrow night’s crucial Premier Soccer game against Mamelodi Sundowns to Pietermaritzburg’s Woodburn Stadium.

Instead the match will go ahead as scheduled at 7.30 pm at Chatsworth Stadium, chosen as the venue because it has suitable lights for television, with the match being aired on SuperSport 4.

United temporarily increased the strength on the lights at Woodburn from 250 lux to the 650 lux required for television cameras, but this was completed too late for the PSL to approve the venue change.

But at least the PMB team’s remaining midweek matches of the season at Woodburn will be played at night, so they will not clash with fans’ work hours.

“The council lent us the floodlights from [under construction] Harry Gwala Stadium, which has brought Woodburn up to 650 lux,” said United chairman Farouk Kadodia.

“We also had to upgrade the cabling to Woodburn to support the new lights. Unfortunately, the contractors were only given the job on Tuesday, and with the rain on Thursday they could only finish today.

“The PSL wanted to do their lux test on Friday, to give the opposing team suitable notice of a change of venue, and we were unable to make that deadline,” Kadodia said.

On a big weekend for the PSL relegation battle, 14th-placed Maritzburg will hope at least to draw against Sundowns to try to keep their noses in front of second-last Bay United, who play leaders SuperSport United in Atteridgeville.

United will be without striker Fadlu Davids. He scored a brace in the team’s 3-1 home victory against Bloemfontein Celtic last week, but was also red-carded. The PMB team have appealed Davids’s two-match suspension.

Referee Robert Sithole handed the striker a bizarre dismissal, booking Davids once for catching Celtic ’keeper Shu-aib Walters with a late challenge, then immediately producing a second yellow after the striker asked what he had been booked for.

United also have their two on-loan players from Sundowns, left-back Elias Ngwepe and right-wing Fanyana Dhladhla, unavailable because of a stipulation in their contracts that they cannot play against the team that owns them.

But United have re-signed midfielder Justice Sithole, released in the off-season after playing a crucial role in the team’s promotion to the PSL, who is available tomorrow.

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