Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Afcon

Jacques Grobbelaar © Gallo Images

National Stadium pitch 'ready' for final



The National Stadium pitch is ready to host the final of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) on Sunday, Stadium Management SA (SMSA) said on Wednesday.

SMSA CEO Jacques Grobbelaar said the field of play was ready to host the final following the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert, which was held at the venue on Saturday.

Sports minister Fikile Mbalula voiced concern about the state of the pitch after the concert, but Grobbelaar said this was unwarranted.

"We did a pitch review yesterday [Tuesday] afternoon, and at 4:30pm when we opened the stadium to the members of the media," Grobbelaar said.

"We are 100 percent comfortable the pitch conforms to Fifa regulations. I still believe it's one of the better pitches in the country at the moment."

Grobbelaar said concerts were necessary to make SMSA financially viable.

"Following the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert on Saturday, it definitely is adding value to the huge investment we made, following previous shows before soccer events," he said.

The pitch was changed to last year to accommodate non-sport events at the venue.

"We decided to rip out the pitch in the middle of December last year and installed a brand new 50 percent artificial pitch," Grobbelaar said.

"The new pitch is definitely extending our ability to have more events at the stadium, which is very important to our business model."

He said the government did not fund the four stadiums managed by SMSA –National Stadium, Rand Stadium, Orlando Stadium and Dobsonville Stadium.

"We're totally self-sustainable and we're reliant on these type of events," he said.

"The Cape Town stadium is attracting a budget of R90 million per annum which is funded by the taxpayers in Cape Town.

"Likewise, the Moses Mabhida Stadium and Peter Mokaba Stadium, and also the Mbombela Stadium. Those stadiums are reliant on public funding.

"We manage the stadiums at full financial risk at no cost to the taxpayer."

Grobbelaar said the National Stadium cost about R4.5 million a month to operate and maintain, so the more events held there, the more cost-effective it was for SMSA.

"We're very reliant on multi-purpose eventing at the stadium," he said.

The contract to hold the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert was signed long before South Africa was given the rights to host Afcon 2013, Grobbelaar said.

"Those contracts were signed about 16 months ago. At the time, the Afcon was still scheduled for Libya," he said.

"There is an unwritten law with Fifa that if the host nation has a problem with holding the event, the fallback is always the previous country that hosted the World Cup."

Grobbelaar said cancelling the contract was not an option.

"If we didn't honour the Red Hot Chili Peppers contract, we would be open for claims in excess of R90m from them, and the consequential damages could have run into a billion rand."

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Sports Talk



Neil Tovey
Baxter’s men on the ball
Kaizer Chiefs’ 15-match winning streak may have ended but they remain the team to beat in the PSL.

Chima Emmanuel Aguma
Mata can't replace Rooney
Manchester United started the first of three crucial Premier League games against West Brom (away),...

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Rodgers must focus on the league
Many footballers arriving in the Barclays Premier League have been warned of second-season syndrome.

Sunday Oliseh
Dortmund's winning formula is killing it
I sat in Signal Iduna Park to watch Dortmund over-run Arsenal and wondered, how long will it take...

John Dykes
A Gooner or a gonner?
An International Break can do funny things to the mind. Mine, for instance was heavily engaged this...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Why can’t soccer be like rugby?
Sport is supposed to be sport; something we all do for the love of it, for recreational purposes,...