Leopards bring Downs nearer

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mamelodi Sundowns will travel 350km instead of about 520km for their Castle Premiership match against Black Leopards on March 7.

This after David Thidiela, Leopards' boss, decided to move this floodlit encounter from Thohoyandou to Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.

The Brazilians would have travelled 1040km to and from Thohoyandou if the match was played at Lidoda Duvha's traditional venue in the far north.

The change of venue should have come as a relief for the Castle Premiership champions-elect because they will now travel a short distance to the Limpopo capital, which is situated 170km from Thohoyandou.

Andrew "Druza" Dipela, the Premier Soccer League's general manager, confirmed yesterday that they had granted Leopards permission to play at Peter Mokaba Stadium.

But Thidiela was quick to dismiss any suggestions that he decided to host Sundowns in Polokwane because of "bad luck" at their traditional venue in Thohoyandou.

Leopards' last match in Thohoyandou was an Absa Cup last-32 clash against Benoni Premier United who skinned them 3-1 last Sunday.

"When Silver Stars relocated from Peter Mokaba Stadium to Royal Bafokeng Stadium early last year I promised soccer-loving people from around Polokwane that we will host some of our matches in Polokwane and I live by my promise," said Thidiela

"This is part of an undertaking to take the team to the people and it is up to our supporters from around Polokwane to come and rally behind the team."

It will not be the first time Leopards host Sundowns in the Polokwane area after they played them in a friendly at Seshego Stadium last August.

The crowd in that match was pathetic and it remains to be seen if people from Polokwane will come to the stadium in droves this time round.