R100m boost

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The allocation of R100 million for a new Mthatha Stadium will inspire Eastern Cape leaders consolidate their efforts to get a professional club after the 2010 World Cup.

This is according to Eddie du Plooy, the South African Football Association national executive committee member representing Eastern Cape.

Premier Nosimo Balindlela announced the R100 million budget for the construction of the new 15000-seater stadium.

The new stadium will also be a training ground for the World Cup.

"It is the greatest news ever to hit our province," said Du Plooy.

The old Mthatha Stadium, which was the home of former Premiership campaigners Bush Bucks for almost a decade, has been demolished.

Du Plooy said a lack of proper soccer facilities in Mthatha forced amateur clubs to travel more than 100km to host their games.

"Bush Bucks moving out of Mthatha to East London also contributed to the poor run," said Du Plooy.

"We also have Mthatha-based Vodacom League clubs playing in East London because of a lack of facilities, which is a big problem for the Buffalo City municipality.

"We are also excited that two stadiums in the Buffalo City municipality [East London] will be upgraded as part of preparations for the World Cup."

The East London Stadium (10000 capacity) and Bhisho Stadium (20000) have been identified as training venues in the build-up to the tournament.

"We have already had one team from Sweden training for its off-season in Buffalo City," said Balindela.

He added that they were doing their best to lure more tourists.

l As part of the legacy projects for the 2010 World Cup, Johannesburg City Parks is to develop a new recreation centre in Eldorado Park.

The park, which will also include a soccer field to be used by amateur clubs in the area, will offer a complete outdoor entertainment solution.

There will also be braai facilities, picnic areas, new landscaped lawns and trees, park furniture and a big outdoor screen for public viewing.

A full announcement regarding the construction of the park will be announced today at a media briefing by Johannesburg City Parks.

It said in a statement yesterday that the big outdooor screens will be used to flight sporting, environmental and educational programmes.