Former professional players add spice to 18-team second division national playoffs
The South African Football Association (Safa) is geared-up for the yearly Vodacom Second Division national playoffs in QwaQwa next month.
Selokela Masetle, Safa competitions director, said the games will be played at the upgraded Charles Mopeli Stadium from May 21 to 27. As per the usual trend, each of the nine provinces will be represented by two clubs - winners in the men's and women's categories.
"The teams will be divided into two streams - the Coastal and Inland. The winners of each stream will meet in a final to determine the national champions. In the men's section, the two clubs in the final will also automatically gain promotion to the Mvela Golden League.
"We expect the standard to be even higher than in the past because our clubs have recruited some ex-professional players to assist them.
"They don't need anymore incentive because everybody is well aware of the money offered by clubs campaigning in the National First Division."
Masetle said his federation was working round the clock to resolve disputes in some of the provinces, where clubs have lodged protests.
"We are attending to every case that is presented to us. Overall, we are pleased with the manner in which the games were played."
OR Tambo District Cosmos, who are reported to be struggling to pay the salaries of their players, beat Ga-Rankuwa United 2-1 in Pietermaritzburg last year to win the men's championship.