KZN has edge over Gauteng in bid to host PSL resumption
DURBAN - eThekwini Municipality and KwaZulu-Natal as a whole lost millions due to Durban July horse race being run behind closed doors and the cancellation of the Comrades Marathon. But hosting the Premier Soccer League's proposed 'bio-bubble' restart will wipe those losses away.
The sense of anticipation is palpable about which province will host the completion of the 2019/20 Absa Premiership and Nedbank Cup.
KZN is now firm favourite to do so, but the province is competing against Gauteng.
KZN presented its bid two weeks ago and the league was apparently blown away.
The warm weather conditions in the province have put the province ahead as the frontrunner, while its lower number of positive Covid-19 cases compared to Gauteng has further cemented KZN as favourite to host the resumption and culmination of the league.
The PSL’s board of governors will meet today to deliberate on the matter.
Having missed out on the influx of people to the Comrades and the Durban July due to the continued Covid-19 pandemic, getting the rights to host the league will be a huge boost for the province.
The 'bubble league' will last five weeks, which means teams will be staying in the province for that period, generating a healthy income in the process.
Airports will also be busy initially with teams coming in from various provinces, and from a transport perspective the province will also benefit as clubs move about.
Moses Mabhida Stadium, Kings Park, Princess Magogo Stadium, Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium, King Zwelithini Stadium, Chatsworth Stadium, Harry Gwala Stadium and Mpumalanga Stadium have all been identified as match venues by the KZN government.
Hoy Park, Moses Mabhida's outer field, Howard College, Kings Park outer field, the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Pinetown, and Berea Rovers will be used as training venues.
Teams will be based in Umhlanga Rocks, South Beach and North Beach. The road to South Beach and North Beach is likely to be closed to the public as they normally are during the festive season to ensure the safety of the players.
But KZN is facing stiff competition from Gauteng, which boasts several world class stadiums such as FNB Stadium, Orlando Stadium, Bidvest Stadium, Makhulong, Sinaba, Lucas Moripe, Loftus Versfeld and Ellis Park.
The only concern for Gauteng is the number of Covid-19 cases, which has escalated in the past few days, as well as the chilly winter weather conditions.
It is possible that each province will host the PSL and GladAfrica Championship respectively, but all will hopefully be revealed in today’s Board of Governors meeting.
Either way, football fans will soon be able to enjoy PSL action again, and that will be a blessing for all stakeholders of the beautiful game.