Myriads of soccer fans who had travelled from all parts of the country to watch the Premier Soccer League (PSL) fixture between Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United on Tuesday evening feel let down by the management of Peter Mokaba Stadium after the match was abandoned due to lights failure on the western grand stand late in the match.
Referee Daniel Bennet declared the match abandoned in the 62nd minute with SuperSport United leading 1-0.
Pirates supporter Malose Kekana from Ga-Matlala said the stadium management should have found a way of dealing with the problem immediately.
“That was a big match and I think they should have tested the lights before it started. Initially we thought it was load shedding but later we found out that the flood lights had failed completely. Why can’t they do random inspections and tests before the match? I feel like I have wasted my money,” Kekana said.
SuperSport United supporter, Tshepo Ngwasheng from Bloodriver said the management should have inspected the lights before, like others do in cricket matches. “They knew about the fixture for a long time and they should have detected the problem in time. We were told to wait until 22:00 for the resumption of the match but nothing happened. I believe they should have done better in the situation because it doesn’t augur well for the city,” Ngwasheng said.
Acting Municipal Manager Ndavhe Ramakuela has apologised for the incident. “We don’t know what really happened with the lights on the western stand of the stadium. The technical team is looking into the cause of the problem. We tried all emergency proceedings to resuscitate the lights but we could not switch them on. We would like to apologise to the PSL, sponsors and the fans,” Ramakuela said.
He also mentioned that this is the first time the lights fail during a match and they are willing to improve the conditions at the stadium. “We have never had this type of problem before. We have hosted more than 20 night matches but we will ensure that we avert such incidents,” Ramakuela said.
PSL Spokesperson, Lux September said according to Rule 5.7 the remaining minutes of the fixture will be resumed.
At the time of going to press the PSL informed that the match would be played yesterday (Wednesday) at 12:00, at the same venue.
Story: Herbert Rachuene