Harry Gwala is in a state of neglect

2014-01-16 00:00

MARITZBURG United’s game against Kaizer Chiefs, scheduled for February 11, could be moved to either the Chatsworth Stadium or Moses Mabhida Stadium as Harry Gwala Stadium lies in a state of neglect.

During the club’s training match against Durban University of Technology last week, the grass had not been cut and had turned brown in some parts of the pitch.

The Team of Choice chairperson Farook Kadodia said that it looked as though no maintenance had taken place since the club hosted Bidvest Wits in December.

“The grass was cut on Friday, but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done,” Kadodia told The Witness from the club’s offices in Victoria Road this week.

“The grass hasn’t been watered and it seems as though the irrigation system has been tampered with. The grass is also burnt, but in patches. We don’t know the nature of the problem,” he said.

Kadodia said they were also trying to postpone the visit of the PSL’s inspection team to next week to give them time to repair the pitch.

The chairperson also said Harry Gwala Stadium was due to host an ANC rally this weekend, which is expected to be attended by over 20 000 people.

On the possibility of using Woodburn Stadium, Kadodia said that was not possible due to the absence of floodlights.

“We need all stakeholders to come together. This team is the people’s team. The people of Pietermaritzburg cannot be deprived of seeing Chiefs here. We promised our supporters that we will play all of our home games here,” he said. “The municipality is the sole custodian of the ground. We understand that they have their own challenges, but there has to be accountability.”

The club, which pays R20 000 per game to use the municipality-owned stadium, could now move the game to the Moses Mabhida Stadium where they would have to pay in the region of R60 000. But, due to AmaKhosi’s popularity in the country, the game would likely be in front of a capacity crowd.

Municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi told The Witness that the ground will be ready in time for the club’s first game of the year. “It will be in a good condition by then. We are also in the process of appointing a full-time groundsman to maintain it,” said Nkosi.

He said they would also be making sure that the pitch would be well maintained during the ANC rally this weekend.

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