Monday night football arrives in the PSL when Pirates host title rivals Sundowns

26 March 2019 - 11:25
By Mark Gleeson
Luvuyo Memela of Orlando Pirates and Oupa Manyisa of Mamelodi Sundowns during the Absa Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Pretoria.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images Luvuyo Memela of Orlando Pirates and Oupa Manyisa of Mamelodi Sundowns during the Absa Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Pretoria.

Monday night football was invented by the Americans for the gridiron game almost 50 years ago and become a social institution.

The Premier League in England brought it in with their television revolution in the late 90s and La Liga in Spain now also plays a marquee match on a Monday night too.

Now‚ Monday night football has arrived in South Africa … but in an inadvertent way as the under-pressure Premier Soccer League (PSL) have had to fixture the top of the table clash between Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns to the Orlando Stadium next Monday‚ April 1 (kick off 7.30pm).

The match has been moved ahead from April 27‚ because the League says they are anticipating Sundowns reaching the Caf Champions League semifinal and would not be able to find a date for this key game on the calendar after that.

Logically it should be Sundowns’ next league fixtures that are brought ahead‚ which is the Tshwane derby against SuperSport United‚ slated for April 7 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville.

That game has to be rearranged and it would have made more sense to just move it forward to Monday.

The reason for the re-arrangement is because Sundowns are through to the Champions League quarterfinals‚ where they meet Al Ahly of Egypt over two legs‚ with the first leg in Atteridgeville on April 5 and the return in Cairo one week later.

That also means Sundowns’ April 14 clash away at Baroka FC in the Absa Premiership must be re-arranged.

If Sundowns advance to the Champions league semifinals‚ then the game against Pirates would need to be moved.

The semifinal dates are April 26 and May 3.

Pirates were also due to take on Black Leopards this Friday in a game that was moved when they were given a postponement to go to Guinea for their last Champions League group game earlier this month.

But that home clash against Leopards has now been moved to April 10.