Bloemfontein Celtic goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb made a fine spot-kick save during the Telkom Knockout semi-final penalty shoot-out win over Polokwane City. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

DURBAN – The Premier Soccer League (PSL) has come out and elaborated as to why the cup finals are always played in Durban despite there being a number of top-class venues around the country.

The PSL announced last week that the final of the Telkom Knockout will be played at Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu in Durban.

Bidvest Wits will clash with Bloemfontein Celtic as the two sides fight for the R4.25 million first prize.

The game will kickoff at 6pm on Saturday.

Durban has hosted all the cup finals in 2017 – the Nedbank Cup final last season saw Orlando Pirates hammered 4-1 by SuperSport United at Moses Mabhida Stadium., while the MTN8 final was won by SuperSport United against Cape Town City on penalties.

PSL acting chief executive Mato Madlala elaborated on the criteria they utilised when they decide on who will host the cup final.

“There are a lot of factors we took into account. We all watched the game between Kaizer Chiefs and Bidvest Wits at Bidvest Stadium, which is a 4 000-seater.

“We were looking to see the security. There were no glitches. It went perfectly well. It was a compact stadium and compact game.

“We looked at the venues around Durban. It was a request from our sponsors to take the game to Durban and in a township stadium for the first time ever in PSL history. They gave us options of which venues they will be happy to take the final to. Two venues in Durban were at the top on the list,” Madlala explained.

Durban is known for attracting huge crowds in big matches. Two seasons back, the tickets for the MTN8 final between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates were sold in three hours. 

“As the league, we consulted with the four teams that were still involved in the tournament. We gave them options as well. We told them that these are the options that the sponsors are asking for. We asked them ‘Do you have an objection, and which one would you prefer?’

“Four out of four chose Durban. When we take the decision about the host venue for the final, we have to take into our account the wishes of our sponsors because they have the plan.

“Our sponsors have a huge say as to which stadium will host the final. In this instance, we had two cities and we consulted with the teams. It is never a PSL office decision. We don’t decide where games go to.

“The participating teams as well have a huge say in terms of where they want to play. Four out of four they chose this venue, and that’s why we are here,” Madlala stated.

Telkom’s chief marketing officer Cambridge Mokonyane also spoke on why the Princess Magogo Stadium was chosen as the host of this year’s TKO final.

“Someone said to me ‘You are taking the final to Durban because you are married to a Durban girl’, but it is not the case at all. Telkom is the people’s brand. We have passion for our customers. We didn’t even hesitate about the host of the final.

“We wanted to take the final to Durban because last season’s final was in Polokwane. Durban turns up. Local and provincial government always turn up. People from inland always want to come to Durban. They get weekend visas to enjoy themselves in Durban,” Mokonyane explained.

Under the Telkom era since 2006, Durban has hosted four TKO finals – in 2008, 2009, 2015 and now this year’s final.

 

IOL Sport