PREMIER Soccer League (PSL) bosses were locked in meetings yesterday, trying to come up with a solution to the impasse involving the Telkom Knockout semifinals.
The draw for the competition was done on Sunday after Kaizer Chiefs bundled SuperSport United out of the money-spinning competition at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Baroka will host Bidvest Wits, while Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates will clash in the second semifinal, according to the draw.
The semifinals are scheduled for 24 and 25 November at venues to be confirmed by the PSL tomorrow.
But the highly anticipated Soweto derby “round two” may have be played outside Gauteng, instead of its traditional home of FNB Stadium.
As things stand, the Soweto derby could be heading to Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium, considering the sensitive nature of this clash following Chiefs’s defeat to Pirates in the league a week ago.
The development that has put the brakes on the PSL’s preparations is the unavailability of FNB Stadium on the weekend of 24-25 November. The Nasrec venue was booked by Patrice Motsepe’s family foundation, the Motsepe Foundation, for the billionaire’s favourite National Day of Prayer event on 25 November.
Stadium Management SA chief executive Jacques Grobbelaar confirmed to SunSport yesterday that FNB Stadium is not available on the weekend of the TKO semifinals.
He said: “The Motsepe Foundation booked the venue a year ago. Different churches come together to praise the Lord. It is just unfortunate that we cannot change the date. I have communicated this to the PSL.”
Changing the date of the derby won’t work either, as the Nasrec venue will on Sunday 2 December host world superstar Beyonce. The singer will be performing in Mzansi for the first time in 15 years at the Global Citizen Festival, which is also organised by the Motsepe Foundation.
To prepare for this festival, which will also feature Usher, local hip-hop star Cassper Nyovest, Ed Sheeran, Pharrell Williams, and D’Banje, the stadium will need at least a week for the stage and lighting to be arranged as well as rehearsals.
And on 17 November the facility is already hosting the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between Bafana Bafana and Nigeria.
If the PSL wants to keep the derby in Gauteng, the best bet would be Orlando Stadium, which hosted the second MTN8 semifinal five years ago.
PSL operations officer, Professor Ronnie Schloss, could not be drawn on the current situation. All he would say was that the venues and dates would be announced tomorrow.