UPDATES ON STADIUMS OPENING FOR FANS
After another march in Durban on Saturday, there is growing pressure to open stadiums to fans, as supporters’ frustrations grow. According To Soccer Laduma
South African football has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, with fans still unable to return to stadiums due to government protocols. Only broadcasters are permitted to attend the DStv Premiership and GladAfrica Championship games, which are held behind closed doors.
Local football supporters have criticised the Premier Soccer League and the South African Football Association for their responses to the call for fans to return to stadiums.
Media and stakeholders have been permitted to attend Bafana Bafana matches, the MTN8 final, and the DStv Compact Cup so far.
Some fans in Durban took to the streets for a peaceful march on Saturday morning, and sent a memorandum to eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda’s office, requesting assistance in this cause.
Outside Durban City Hall, supporters expressed their dissatisfaction with being unable to attend live matches and expressed their frustrations with watching football on television.
“We’ve come to deliver our memorandum to the Mayor of eThekwini, who will speak with Government on our behalf about the return to stadiums.”
“We’ve come to air our grievances. We’ve had enough of watching live games on TV. The opening of stadiums will boost the economy and create jobs in our communities, as we all know that people sell goods at sporting events.
“We’re pleading with the administration to open stadiums,” says the group. Everything appears to have returned to normal, including schools and churches, but not sports. Why not us, if you can open schools for our children? Or perhaps they’ve completely forgotten about us? We will, however, remind them.
“We want to go back to the stadiums. Please open stadiums, Minister of Sport Nathi Mthethwa, Dr Irvin Khoza, and SAFA.”
Another march is planned for this weekend’s Soweto Derby between the Kaizer Chiefs and the Orlando Pirates, with fans hoping to make a statement.
Sihle Zikalala, the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, has since added his voice to the cause:
The demand for stadium openings by football fans, in my opinion, requires immediate and serious consideration. The impact on fans, the suffering of small business owners, and the general atmosphere that is frequently created are all factors to consider.