CAPE TOWN, November 30 – Cape Town City’s inability to host a home game in the Mother City has left a bitter taste in the mouth of their coach Benni McCarthy.
City are scheduled to play Maritzburg City in Cape Town on December 5 but there were no venues available in the Mother City and consequently, the match has been moved to Princess Magogo Stadium, a multi-purpose stadium in KwaMashu, a suburb of Durban. Maritzburg, on occasions, uses the venue for its home grounds.
It is almost unthinkable that a PSL Premiership team has surrendered home ground advantage, and the situation has McCarthy has prompted McCarthy to publish an open letter in which he vents his anger.
The letter, in part, reads:
‘Cape Town City FC is a club that has captured the imagination and dreams of Capetonians from all walks of life. With little assistance, it has brought endless accolades to Cape Town and united its people.
‘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.
‘From a footballing perspective, a win will take this City top of the log in the nation’s most prestigious competition.
‘And to play that crucial game in the opposition’s province (where KZN were easily able and willing to accommodate us) 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 1000 tenants, has become a sand patch. Newlands – unavailable.
‘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.
‘With all that has been said and promised, the old reality has returned. Football in Cape Town has been forced into exile.’