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Reports & Previews

Comitis: Football is still the poor relative in Cape Town

Cape Town City chairman John Comitis says local authorities treat football poorly after not preparing the Cape Town Stadium's pitch for Saturday's clash with Stellenbosch.

The Western Cape derby was scheduled to originally be played at the venue this weekend however it seems Cape Town City's stadium management did not prepare the playing surface in time.

As such, the game has been switched to take place at Athlone Stadium instead - much to the frustration of Comitis.

He said in a club statement: "It is with great anger and frustration that the much-anticipated first Western Cape derby between Cape Town City and Stellenbosch FC has been moved out of the Cape Town Stadium.

"This follows confirmation by the Cape Town Stadium yesterday [Monday], four days before the major event, that the field has in fact not been prepared for the start of the season and is unplayable for football.

"This is yet another negligent and careless undermining of football in Cape Town by the Cape Town Stadium management.

"Could one imagine a situation where the Sevens Rugby or a Music Concert was called off four days before a booked event at the Cape Town Stadium? It is impossible because it would not happen, and litigation would follow.

"Whatever is needed to ensure the pitch is ready, it can always be done. And that is my point - football doesn't matter to the Cape Town Stadium.

"It is ironic considering the time I spent with the PSL and SAFA working on the 2010 Football World Cup bid, from which the stadium was built. 10 years later and football is still the poor relative in Cape Town.

"How long can our venues be managed by people who don't understand the cultural and historical value of football in our society? Is this the best Cape Town can do?"