Despite the Premier Soccer League (PSL) saying that the Free State Stadium was not available to host the Nedbank Cup final next month, the Free State Cheetahs has rubbished the claims.
PSL chairman Dr. Irvin Khoza announced this week that the Moses Mabhida Stadium will stage this year’s Ke Yona Cup final, but Cheetahs, who are a rugby club, explained that they were ready to accommodate the final.
“Contrarily to the announcement made by PSL regarding the hosting of the Nedbank Cup Final, Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein is and always was, available for the Nedbank Cup Final,” read a statement from Free State Cheetahs’ manager of strategic communication, Ronel Pienaar.
“It is with great disappointment that Free State Rugby learned that the Moses Mabhida Stadium has been chosen to host the Nedbank Cup Final after Toyota Stadium offered to play host,” he added.
“Even greater was the shock to read the media statement by PSL stating that said: ‘the executive committee discussed the venue for Nedbank Cup final, but sponsors' preferred venue in Bloemfontein was not available due to unforeseen reasons. It will therefore move to Moses Mabhida Stadium',” he continued.
“In discussions between the PSL and the Free State Cheetahs (Pty) Ltd, it was made clear that the Free State Cheetahs (Pty) Ltd will do anything in their power to secure the date. The Cheetahs was even willing to re-schedule rugby matches and moved a rugby match to a community ground, to show commitment towards the event. Free State Cheetahs (Pty.) Ltd showed openness to amend arrangements according to PSL expectations of Toyota Stadium,” said the Cheetahs official.
“Taking into consideration that autumn and winter temperatures in the Free State are not favourable, Free State Cheetahs (Pty) Ltd went as far as to re-schedule the annual pitch re-seeding until after the Nedbank Cup Final,” he added.
“It is certainly not true to say that the venue is not available. The Bloemfontein community, sport supporters and Free State Rugby are all ready to bend backwards to host the Nedbank Cup Final,” concluded the statement.