SA feeling World Cup labour pains

Sipho Mthembu

Sipho Mthembu

South Africa's professional football continues experiencing labour pains ahead of the World Cup in 2010.

Yesterday, Premier Soccer League (PSL) chief executive Trevor Phillips announced highly complicated logistical problems that the game will encounter in the new year. Gauteng teams will be the most affected as municipalities rush to renovate venues for the 2010 spectacle "without proper coordination", as Phillips put it.

As a result, Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United will now have to share Loftus stadium as their home ground. This is because the Super stadium will only be available until the end of January before it is overhauled.

But the problem does not end there. Loftus itself will also be unavailable between March 4 and April 4, when it is overhauled for the new rugby season, forcing the three teams to again relocate their home games.

Pilditch stadium looks the most viable alternative and the Tshwane metro is currently fencing the venue to comply with PSL standards.

In Western Cape, Ajax Cape Town and Santos will share Athlone stadium because Greenpoint is going to be demolished.

In KwaZulu-Natal, King Zwelithini Stadium is unavailable as the pitch is being rehabilitated after floodlights were installed.

In spite of all the problems, Phillips is confident that the league will finish on May 20, as scheduled.