CAPE TOWN – When it comes to sport in the Mother City, football still has to be content with the scraps that fall from the table.
It was this way when the black part of the sport was neglected during the dark days of apartheid, and it’s still the same now.
While the City of Cape Town may pay lip service to football, it’s perfectly clear how they really feel about the sport.
Cape Town City are scheduled to play Maritzburg United at home in a PSL fixture next Tuesday, but the bad news for the club’s growing band of followers is that the game will now be played at the Princess Magogo Stadium in Durban.
To be brutally honest, it’s a downright embarrassment for the administrators who run the city.
Cape Town Stadium is gearing up for the Cape Town Sevens rugby tournament next weekend and, need it be said, Athlone Stadium is in atrocious condition.
The Mother City may be in a drought, but that is certainly no excuse for the manner in which the pitch at Athlone has been allowed to deteriorate.
In short, if the city was serious about football, it would have found a way to handle the crisis a long, long time ago. It’s not rocket science now, is it?
And the situation doesn’t just affect Cape Town City, but the entire football fraternity in that Ajax Cape Town and the First Division clubs are also reliant on Athlone as a venue.
But hey, it’s football, so who cares? Why have planning and foresight with regard to venues when it’s only football? And that is why we are where we are now.
City boss John Comitis was at pains to downplay the issue. He is fully aware that he needs to work with the city in the future and doesn’t want to burn any bridges.
“Obviously I’m very disappointed,” said Comitis. “But what it does mean is that I will have to revise my plans for the club, and rethink the way forward. This state of affairs certainly cannot continue.”
But just think about the impact City, as a club, have had on the Cape and the entire football landscape in the country.
They’ve captured the imagination of the public, both on and off the field, and flown the flag for Cape Town as a city and as a destination to come to.
But do you think that matters at all to the people who run the city? Certainly not.