Benni McCarthy lashes out at the City of Cape Town

Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy.
Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy.
Image: BackpagePix

Benni McCarthy has laid into the City of Cape Town‚ who he accuses of dishonesty on a “dark day for football” as his Cape Town City side have been forced to play their next home match at Durban’s Princess Magogo Stadium.

McCarthy is incensed that his side will have to take the clash‚ which could see them move top of the Absa Premiership table‚ to another province due to the unavailability of a venue in Cape Town.

“I’ve been away from Cape Town for 21 years and while so much has changed‚ nothing has changed‚” McCarthy said in an open letter he issued on Thursday.

“It is with great sadness to my players‚ this club‚ our fans‚ and all the football loving people of Cape Town that we must confirm that our upcoming home match versus Maritzburg United will be played away from home‚ in Durban.

“To play that crucial game in the oppositions province is quite frankly hurtful and embarrassing.

"The Cape Town Stadium is unavailable due to the setting up of Rugby 7s‚ but we have become accustomed to being removed from Cape Town Stadium for events far less significant.

“It blows my mind how a stadium that only exists because of the Soccer World Cup‚ cannot be reserved for 15 out of 365 days for the City’s premium soccer team.

“Football has been sold lies in Cape Town.

"When there is a private wedding‚ the stadiums are ready. When there’s a rugby competition‚ the stadiums are ready. When there’s a nitro circus car event‚ the stadiums are ready.

“For football‚ Cape Town’s World Cup stadium – unavailable. Athlone Stadium – used by a thousand tenants and has become a sand patch. Newlands – unavailable.

“Make an emergency plan at another venue across the entire Western Cape – um‚ sorry we didn’t think that far ahead. But our fixtures are no secret?”

McCarthy has accused the City of Cape Town of a lack of planning and desire to accommodate the club.

“It’s about planning and willingness – and I cannot believe that our officials cannot see the immense commercial‚ cultural‚ and community impacts that Cape Town City FC has in this city.

“The power of football changes lives‚ and brings people together. It is the people’s game. When will Cape Town City have a home?”

He then makes the assertion that the City would have bent over backwards to make sure they had a home if they were a rugby team.

“The only way the severity of this treatment can be understood‚ is ironically through the eyes of Rugby.

"Imagine the Stormers‚ with a chance to go top of the log‚ were told that they must play their next crucial home game against the Sharks in Durban.

“Season tickets sold‚ fans eagerly awaiting‚ and the players prepared to represent Cape Town. It’s hard to imagine it‚ because it will never happen.

“Football people‚ although an overwhelming majority in this country‚ do not seem to count as much in Cape Town.

"With all that has been said and promised‚ the old reality has returned. Football in Cape Town has been forced into exile.”

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