Chiefs pledge support to stadium march

The African National Congress Youth League in the Western Cape and Kaizer Chiefs have urged their followers to join a march to protest against the Cape Unicity Council’s alleged racist attitude towards soccer.

The DA-led council and some residents of Newlands are objecting to soccer matches being staged at Newlands Stadium. Stellenbosch University also objects to soccer being played at the Danie Craven Stadium.

Chiefs spokesperson Putco Mafani said on Wednesday his club agreed to the proposal by the ANCYL to mobilise the club’s supporters’ branches in the Western Cape.

“We urge our supporters to co-operate with the ANC Youth League in a show of strength to make our voices heard,” said Mafani. “In this age and time in this new South Africa, there is certainly no place for racism and racist practices,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bafana Bafana’s World Cup qualifying match against Zimbabwe, to have been held at Newlands Stadium on May 5, has been shifted to the FNB Stadium in protest against the council’s attitude.

Safa executive member Vincent Baartjies rejected claims by the city council that an application has to be lodged seeking permission to play at Newlands. He said the problem centred on Newlands residents and their reluctance to have an “influx of black fans in the area”.

Premier Soccer League chief executive Robin Petersen has called on the Cape Unicity Council to enter into an urgent discussion with professional clubs in Cape Town, saying it was an insult to be treated like beggars at a rich man’s table.