CAPE TOWN – It seems to be “a bit of bad” luck that has led to Magic FC not being able to host Kaizer Chiefs in the Nedbank Cup last-16 in Cape Town.
Miles October, the chairman of the ABC Motsepe League club, told IOL Sport on Thursday that the situation which will see Magic FC face the Amakhosi in Port Elizabeth instead of Cape Town will result in the local authorities providing more facilities for sports clubs.
The Nedbank Cup last-16 matches are scheduled to take place next weekend, and both the Cape Town Stadium and Athlone Stadium have already been booked for events.
That left Newlands Rugby Stadium, but October said the “high cost” involved and other technical issues meant that it was not a suitable venue.
Now Magic FC, who play at either Old Mutual’s sports grounds in Pinelands or Royal Road Sports Complex in Maitland, will trek to the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth to take on Chiefs.
“It’s just a bit of bad luck, because both Cape Town and Athlone Stadiums in the city were already booked for that weekend. Newlands Rugby was considered, but there was an issue with the high cost, and also some technical stuff – it’s the Nedbank Cup, and there are a lot of other sponsors’ branding there, like Investec and FNB, which would all need to be covered up,” October said.
“Our home grounds are at Old Mutual and Royal Road, which are not stadiums – they are normal soccer fields, as we are an amateur club. It would’ve been awesome to take Kaizer Chiefs to Old Mutual or Royal Road!
“They looked at Boland Stadium in Wellington as well, but there were specific safety requirements, as well as for the broadcasters. With 20 to 30 000 people, you can’t just play anywhere.
“Durban is the second home of Kaizer Chiefs, so we settled on PE. We hope the spirit of Madiba is going to help bring some Magic!”
There has much conjecture over the last few months about the lack of proper sporting facilities in Cape Town, which has even seen Safa Cape Town protest against being kicked out of Athlone Stadium’s offices by the City of Cape Town.
“Our spectators are gutted, and hopefully it’s a wake-up call to our authorities, as Cape Town needs more facilities,” October added.
But now that they are on their way to PE, Magic FC co-owner October – with former Bafana striker George Dearnaley the other co-owner – is looking into providing buses for their fans.
“We are considering buses. Obviously it’s a lot of organisation at such short notice, and the practicalities and costs involved. But it is just a few hours’ drive from Cape Town, and with the PSL giving us some complimentary tickets, we will ensure that those diehard fans who drive up get those tickets,” October said.
“I am confident in our players, and we have been working hard throughout the season. Everything is aligned, and we will give it our best shot. But our focus is still on our league campaign, so that we can gain promotion for next season.
“(Assistant coach) David Kannemeyer is an old Kaizer Chiefs player, I played with and against Shaun Bartlett, so all these little rivalries will add to the occasion.
“Let’s hope we can be back in Cape Town for the last-eight match, and magic happens if you believe!”
This is what we are used to. Nelson Mandela Bay stadium will be very special for us - but only if we go there unbeaten this year!! Santos is next. 🥇 pic.twitter.com/saoJ11kk1u— TheMagicFC (@TheMagicFC) February 7, 2019