LIMPOPO based side Black Leopards will play their next home game at the Thohoyandou Stadium. That is the view of MEC for Sports, Arts and Culture Thandi Moraka following Tuesday’s inspection by Premier Soccer League (PSL) officials.
Moraka said she was convinced that the stadium would get the nod tonight and Black Leopards’ next fixture would take place in Thohoyandou.
“We are well aware that the stadium is ready to be utilised. The PSL was here two weeks back evaluating if the stadium will meet the requirements and the results were positive. Together with the Thulamela Local Municipality, we worked round the clock to renovate and fix what was needed. Almost 99.9 per cent of the work is done. We are well convinced that they will give Leopards the go ahead and they will host the games at the stadium,” said Moraka.
The renovation work that has been completed at the venue includes the upgrading of ablution facilities‚ extension of the entrances, parking lots and the enhancements of the floodlights to reach television standards for night matches as well as restoring a new quality pitch.
Despite her optimism, she admitted that they hadn’t checked the final state of the renovations. Lidoda Duvha Spokesperson Berry Ramunenyiwa said the newly promoted side was ecstatic with the prospects of using the stadium again.
“Everybody is excited about the refurbishment of the stadium it has been tremendous and we are looking forward to hosting the match against Orlando Pirates on the 28th of August,” Ramunenyiwa said.
The Stadium is seen as the ‘slaughterhouse’ that could give Lidoda Duvha a massive advantage in the PSL this season as its always packed to the rafters each time the Limpopo outfit play at home, with the crowd serving as the 12th man.
Out of 15 matches in the National First Division last season, the playoff winners won 12 of those and only lost two to runaway log leaders Highlands Park and Cape Town All Stars.
The stadiums official capacity is 28 000. The stadium is one of the few in the NFD/PSL matches where a capacity crowd can be expected in each game.
“We want the team to remain in Thohoyandou so that the people of Vhembe will continue to enjoy the game of football because their support for Black Leopards over the years has been the best we have seen in a long time‚” said Moraka.
Leopard’s next match against Pirates is currently scheduled to take place at Peter Mokaba Stadium on August 28 as they await the PSL decision.