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mecca hosts final

By Mcelwa Nchabeleng | 2009-09-02 00:00:00.0

THE big games are back at the one-time mecca of black South African football, the Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

THE big games are back at the one-time mecca of black South African football, the Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

The stadium will host its first major cup final in 25 years when Ajax Cape Town tackle Lamontville Golden Arrows in the MTN8 Cup on September 26.

And there is a new generation of stars looking to write the next chapter in the history of this glorious stadium, the likes of Richard Henyekane, Franklin Cale, Musa Bilankulu and Thulani Serero.

According to the PSL, the last final at Orlando Stadium featured Kaizer Chiefs against Durban City in the second leg of the Champion of Champions in March 1984.

Legendary Neil Tovey, who played for City in that encounter, yesterday described the revamped 2010 World Cup training venue as the "best stadium for the final".

"Orlando Stadium has a rich history in our football and I think the final in September will be a memorable one," the AmaZulu mentor told Sowetan yesterday.

The Premier Soccer League yesterday confirmed the venue as the host of the prestigious Wafa Wafa after a number of other venues were considered.

"There is no doubt that Orlando Stadium is a world-class venue with world-class facilities," said PSL general manager Ace Ncobo yesterday. "As an iconic venue in our history, Orlando Stadium is worthy of a cup final. It was also the wish of both clubs and the sponsors to take the final to Orlando Stadium."

After a major revamp in 2006, Orlando Stadium reopened its doors to top class football in November last year.

Arrows' publicist Zwelethu Mzolo said playing at Orlando Stadium always revived memories of their glory days.

"It will be a great feeling for us if we can lift the Wafa Wafa trophy at such a great stadium. We are looking forward to the final," said Mzolo yesterday.

His counterpart at Ajax, Thabiso Mekuto Said: "Orlando Stadium is an historic venue and we want to make history by becoming the first team to win a trophy there after such a long time," he said.