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FS Rugby: Stadium 'always available' for Nedbank Cup final

The PSL chairman announced that the venue for the prestigious cup final would be played at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on 18 May.

Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Picture: Winnie Theletsane/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Free State Rugby have dismissed the Premier Soccer League’s claims that the Toyota Stadium was not available to host this year’s Nedbank Cup Final next month.

On Wednesday, the PSL Chairman announced that the venue for the prestigious cup final would be played at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on 18 May after their preferred venue in Bloemfontein ‘could not be secured due to unforeseen circumstances.’

In a statement, the Free State Rugby Union said that Toyota Stadium which plays host to Pro 14 Rugby side the Cheetahs was always available to host the Nedbank Cup final and that they had bent over backwards in order for the final to be hosted in the Free State.

“Contrarily to the announcement made by PSL regarding the hosting of the Nedbank Cup Final, Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein is and always was available for the Nedbank Cup Final. It is with great disappointment that Free State Rugby learned that the Moses Mabhida Stadium has been chosen to host the Nedbank Cup Final after Toyota Stadium offered to play host."

Even greater was the shock to read the media statement by PSL stating that said: “The executive committee discussed the venue for Nedbank Cup final, but sponsors' preferred venue in Bloemfontein was not available due to unforeseen reasons. It will, therefore, move to Moses Mabhida Stadium. In discussions between the PSL and the Free State Cheetahs (Pty) Ltd, it was made clear that the Free State Cheetahs (Pty) Ltd will do anything in their power to secure the date. The Cheetahs was even willing to re-schedule rugby matches and moved a rugby match to a community ground, to show commitment towards the event. Free State Cheetahs (Pty) Ltd showed openness to amend arrangements according to PSL expectations of Toyota Stadium.

“Taking into consideration that autumn and winter temperatures in the Free State are not favourable, Free State Cheetahs (Pty) Ltd went as far as to re-schedule the annual pitch re-seeding until after the Nedbank Cup Final. It is certainly not true to say that the venue is not available. The Bloemfontein community, sports supporters and Free State Rugby are all ready to bend backwards to host the Nedbank Cup Final."