Limpopo MEC assures Black Leopards fans that Thohoyandou Stadium will meet PSL standards
Limpopo MEC for sport Onicca Moloi has confirmed that they are working around the clock to ensure that Thohoyandou Stadium in Venda complies with the criteria placed on stadium safety and facilities and is ready to host newly promoted Black Leopards in the coming domestic Premiership season.
Leopards were promoted to the topflight via the play-offs last month and there were fears that the stadium would not be able to meet the Premier Soccer League's stringent criteria for hosting official matches.
Moloi inspected the venue on Thursday and said she was confident that the contractors would hand over the stadium on July 24 as agreed after a series of minor upgrades.
“This is not a full blown upgrade‚ that will follow up at a later stage‚" she said.
"We are starting with the minor issues that have been identified by the PSL and I am confident that all work that is needed to be done will be completed on time.
“We have received a list of things that must be done from the PSL and this is the second week that contractors have been on site.
"They are working on improving the state of the pitch‚ ablution facilities‚ technical benches‚ turnstiles‚ pavement around the stadium‚ the hospitality and media areas.
"We have engaged the Department of Public Works to give us manpower and I am satisfied with progress that is being made so far‚” she said‚ adding that there are plans to further improve the stadium in the coming years.
PSL senior official Professor Ronnie Schloss said there are certain areas that need improvement but he was confident that the stadium would meet all the the necessary requirements after work has been completed at the stadium.
“The floodlights have been installed and I believe that the provincial and local governments have gone to tender for the upgrading of the turnstiles for entrance and exit points.
"The last time I was there for a preliminary inspection‚ the pitch was playable but it will be improved which is the other thing that they are working on at the moment‚” said Schloss‚ adding that he will be returning to Venda for another round of inspections.
“There is work that is continuing there at the stadium at the moment and I will be returning there in about three weeks time to see how far they have gone.
"I am confident that they will meet all the requirements because they have the backing of the provincial and local governments.”
Leopards are always guaranteed a full house at the stadium and locals were concerned that Thohoyandou Stadium would not meet the PSL's requirements and the club would be forced to take home matches to the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.