BUCS sLAM dIRTY TRICKS
Despite their fans' late rally to claw back into the top four, Orlando Pirates have slammed "the dirty tricks" employed by some clubs to garner votes for the Telkom Charity Cup
Soweto giants Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs - who were respectively in third and fourth place late last night - were earlier in danger of missing the pre-season charity tournament, which had AmaZulu, Mamelodi Sundowns and Platinum Stars as front runners.
By last night, the two top spots had still not changed, although Chiefs and Pirates had improved their positions, while Sundowns had been relegated to fifth.
Bucs' spokesperson Mickey Modisane claims the votes are not a true reflection of supporters' backing and that some clubs were rather having people make countless calls to the voting lines in order to get their teams to qualify.
"Let us be honest here - people are killing the spirit of the tournament and those doing this should think about match day - whether there will be bums on seats to reflect all those votes at the stadium," Modisane said.
What concerns them most, Modisane said, was the potential loss of R3million in gate-taking revenue, which charity organisations stand to lose if both Chiefs and Pirates do not qualify.
The two Soweto giants enjoy enormous support throughout South Africa. The two teams are capable of filling any venue to the rafters. Their support also goes beyond these borders.
"If you were to look at our votes, you would realise that there is no disparity between the SMSs and the phone call votes made - the number of SMSs that our fans had made were close to the number of calls. This tells you that we are going out to our branches and are urging our supporters to make those calls, while others have opted for these tactics.
"For instance, we are presently in the East London area canvassing for support," Modisane said.
Chiefs' team manager Bobby Motaung had not returned our calls at the time of going to press.
The Charity Cup will take place at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on August 1.