Lesufi on standby, if needed, to resolve impasse between Safa and Stadium Management SA

20 May 2023 - 10:17 By Mahlatse Mphahlele And Sazi Hadebe
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Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi.
Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi says he will do whatever is necessary to ensure Bafana Bafana’s final Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Morocco next month is played at FNB Stadium. 

The South African Football Association (Safa) and Stadium Management South Africa (SMSA), which manages FNB Stadium, are meeting on Tuesday to discuss a way forward. 

Safa CEO Lydia Monyepao confirmed that they're meeting with Grobbelaar on Tuesday.

"I was not aware that we are owing the stadium any money. I only read that in the media. The Bafana match against Morocco is at FNB stadium (June 17), that's where we want to play it. We will resolve whatever issue with the stadium on Tuesday," said the new Safa CEO.

It is believed Safa owes SMSA in the region of R15m for the hosting of previous matches and next week’s meeting is to discuss payment arrangements and the hosting of the Morocco match. 

Lesufi, who wants to bring major sporting events to Gauteng, said if Safa and SMSA can’t find each other, he is ready to step in to ensure that the Bafana match takes place at FNB Stadium or at another venue in the province. 

“We have pleaded with Safa to ensure that the last game against Morocco takes place in Gauteng,” said Lesufi. 

“We hosted a few matches of the qualifiers in the province and it will only be fair that the last match is held here in Gauteng. If there are challenges between Safa and Stadium Management South Africa, I think they can be sorted out.  

“We are on standby and if our presence is needed, we will be more than willing to assist. 

“To host these games is not cheap, we have been assisting and there is nothing wrong. If we are asked to assist we will do that. Games bring a lot of investment to the province. You know the Bafana brand is not that big and we are taking a risk in investing in it. 

“I believe in it (Bafana brand) and I think it will rise, so if our presence and assistance is needed we are not only a phone call away but a stone's throw away. 

“Whatever it means, we are willing to assist to keep the match in Gauteng. Whether it is in Vosloorus Stadium, FNB Stadium, Orlando Stadium, Makhulong Stadium or Tsakane Stadium, we will give the support.” 

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