PMB loses team

2009-12-11 00:00

THE Nigerian Football Association visited the city on Wednesday and liked the facilities, especially the pitch at Harry Gwala Stadium — but they could not find a hotel they liked that was large enough to accommodate the entire team.

Yesterday afternoon, a Durban daily reported that the Nigerians had chosen Durban as a base.

Deputy municipal manager for community services Zwe Hulane told the Msunduzi Council’s executive committee (Exco) that the Nigerians were very keen to stay at the Redlands Hotel, but there were not enough rooms for the entire team. The hotel has 28 rooms and the association was looking for a hotel with 40 rooms.

They were shown the larger Imperial Hotel, but did not want to be based in the city centre.

According to the Durban daily, the Nigerian team plans to stay at the Fairmont Zimbali on the north coast, which is under construction and expected to be completed by March.

Councillor Themba Zungu said he wants to use the opportunity to call on The Witness to rectify a story in which it was stated that the municipality is not doing anything to attract teams to be based in the city.

“You can see from the Nigerians’ visit that it is not the stadium or the roads. It is about the hotels and council is not in the business of hotels,” he said.

The DA’s Bill Lambert asked whether this means that the city will not get any teams using Pietermaritzburg as a base camp because of logistics.

Hulane said it is too early to tell. Work on attracting teams is ongoing and a number of countries have expressed interest in viewing the facilities in the city.

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