I don't deal with pitches - official

FILE IMAGE: Highlands Park players celebrate after winning the National First Division to gain promotion to the Premier Soccer League.
FILE IMAGE: Highlands Park players celebrate after winning the National First Division to gain promotion to the Premier Soccer League.
Image: Mahlatse Mphahlele

Director of sports and recreation in Ekurhuleni Atwell Sijadu says claims by Highlands Park director Sinky Mnisi that the department does not support his club are not true.

Mnisi made the allegations during a press conference this week and said the Ekurhuleni municipality is not even willing to upgrade Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa.

Mnisi accused Sijadu of being conflicted because he is only looking after the interest of his amateur team.

"He ensured that Tsakane Stadium where his team plays has a backup generator yet Makhulong Stadium - the only stadium in Ekurhuleni that hosts PSL matches - does not have such, and the conditions of the pitch are appalling," Mnisi lamented.

"We've raised these matters with the municipality and no one seems to care, and that is why we could be on our way out of Makhulong Stadium, which is home to Highlands."

If the Lions of the North leave Makhulong, they may lose their identity and suffer in dwindling support as their fans may find it hard to bear travelling costs to another area.

Locals who have been making money as hawkers and some who are hired as security marshals when Highlands host their games would be affected.

Sijadu, who agreed that he owns a soccer club, said yesterday: "When I joined the department, Tsakane Stadium was already upgraded. The upgrading of stadiums is not in my portfolio."

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