Local newsSport

It’s all systems go for the MTN8 semis

It's 'wafa wafa' (do or die) time in the final legs of the two-legged semifinals of the MTN8 this weekend with Prates up against a never say die Stellenbosch FC and Kaizer Chiefs facing their nemesis Mamelodi Sundowns.

It’s all systems go for both sides of the Metro police and Stadium Management on one hand and the Premier soccer League and its cup sponsor MTN for the final legs of semi-finals this weekend.

Spokesperson for the Metro pice in Johannesburg Xolani Fihla said they learnt hard lessons from last Wednesday’s league game between Orlando Pirates and six-time champions in a row Mamelodi Sundowns in terms of traffic management and control.

This was after a sports journalist from The Citizen was denied entry into the Orlando Stadium despite all the credentials to prove his right to go and cover.

“I was sent from pillar to post despite being on the right boom gate and I ended up being bullied and threatened that my car will eventually be impounded if I did not comply.

“I went to the other pillar and post as directed and still could not get any joy as I was referred back to the bully boom gate as my point of entry to the stadium as a sports scribe. I ended just letting it go and I went back home,” said the journo at the pre-match press conference ahead of the MTN8 semis this weekend.

Buccaneers coach José Luis Riveiro . Photo: Sipho Siso
Buccaneers coach José Luis Riveiro hopes for revenge on Stellembosch FC in the MTN8 clashes. Photo: Sipho Siso

Stadium Management CEO Grobblar and metro’s Fihla then asked for an outside the press conference meeting with the journo for more details with the intention of ensuring this doesn’t reoccur this weekend and so that they know what instructions to give to their officers manning the boom gates.

“We apologise to the journo concerned and we would like to get to the bottom of it so it doesn’t reoccur again this weekend,” Grobblar said.

Meanwhile, Bucs coach José Luis Riveiro said he was certain his players would come to the party this weekend and prevail against Stellies in the last leg after a 1-0 triumph away.

“We may be coming from two defeats at the hands of a Botswana side in the Caf Champions League game n that of Mamelodi Sundowns in the local league but that doesn’t write us off in the MTN8. I believe we are still on course to defend our trophy,” Riveiro said.

Masandawana coach Rhulani Mokwena Photo: Sipho Siso
Masandawana coach Rhulani Mokwena Photo: Sipho Siso

‘Battered’ Kaizer Chiefs coach Molefi Ntseki maintained his players were in it to win it and that they should not be written off. “Anything can happen football and I still believe we have a good chance of turning the tables against the mighty Sundowns with their away goal that counts for two in case of a 0-0 stalemate in the final leg of the semis this weekend.”

He took the opportunity to appeal for patience from his livid fans over numerous losses, saying the team will bounce back as you can see we are acquiring the players to solidify the team.
“It’s just a matter of time and the team will be back to it’s glory days again. I urge the supporters to be patient us and shall eventually put smiles on their faces again,” Ntseki said.

Downs coach Rhulani Mokwena said he was confident his side will be up to the task come the weekend. “We are up against a good side that normally comes to the party in big games like this one and we hope to give a good account of ourselves and eventually emerge triumphant on the day,” Mokwena told the packed conference of sports scribes.

He said when all is said and done, it boils down to what we do on the field of play on the day to win us the match. “I have been watching Chiefs’ matches a lot more these past couple of weeks in preparation for this coming cup tie,” he added.

Related article:

Titanic Chiefs-Downs MTN 8 battle ends in stalemate

Sundowns and Chiefs ready for the titanic MTN 8 clash

Related Articles

Back to top button