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City Football Club blasts Cape Town for stadium blunder

“Could one imagine a situation where the Sevens Rugby or a music concert was called off four days before a booked event at the Cape Town Stadium?”

Cape Town Stadium. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - Cape Town City Football Club has slammed the Cape Town Stadium management for failing to prepare the venue in time for the much-anticipated Western Cape derby against newly-promoted Stellenbosch FC.

The fixture, scheduled for Saturday, has been moved to Athlone Stadium after initially being earmarked for Cape Town Stadium.

In a scathing statement released on Tuesday, Cape Town City FC chairperson John Comitis questioned the City of Cape Town’s commitment to football, criticising the City for making the change just four days before the match is due to take place.

“It is with great anger and frustration that the much-anticipated first Western Cape derby between Cape Town City and Stellenbosch FC has been moved out of the Cape Town Stadium. This follows confirmation by the Cape Town Stadium yesterday, four days before the major event,” Comitis said in a statement.

Comitis said the club has a multi-year contract with the Cape Stadium that is entering its fourth year as a tenant, and the City has known as early as June that the league starts in August. He said the club did raise concerns about the playing surface after non-sporting events like concerts and the Monster Trucks event.

“The home opener with Stellenbosch presented the perfect opportunity for the City of Cape Town to show off. A local provincial derby for Cape Town City, Stellebosch’s first PSL game in their home province, and an opportunity for thousands of Capetonians to come together and enjoy the nation’s most popular sport, at the highest level, in the best venue the city has to offer. To discover the venue is not ready four days before the event is simply not good enough. There is no excuse,” Comitis said.

“Could one imagine a situation where the Sevens Rugby or a music concert was called off four days before a booked event at the Cape Town Stadium?” he added.

Last season Cape Town City FC was forced to move a fixture to Durban because of a mix up with another event. At the time the club was fighting for the PSL league title with Sundowns.

“The implications and damages relating to being kicked out of Cape Town Stadium last minute are astronomical. From national broadcasters, administration for venue changes, suite bookings, bulk tourist bookings, corporates, national and international sponsors – the damage both financially and reputationally is irreversible. How can we build the sport under these circumstances in Cape Town?” Comitis said.

The City of Cape Town has not officially responded to Comitis’ statement but it is understood that they are meeting with the club to discuss the matter.