SuperSport United face dilemma as 'fortress' Lucas Moripe Stadium is banned from hosting matches
- SuperSport have been forced to leave Lucas Moripe
- Stadium in Atteridgeville is banned by PSL & Caf
- Matsatsantsa are unbeaten in the league at the venue
WHAT HAPPENED? The PSL banned the stadium in Atteridgeville from hosting matches because it does not meet standards and Matthews is now pondering over alternative venues.
Matsatsantsa still have three home matches left this season against AmaZulu (April 23), Stellenbosch FC (May 2) and Kaizer Chiefs on May 13 and will now have to do it away from what has become their fortress in 2022-23.
SuperSport are unbeaten in the league at the Lucas Moripe Stadium this term, having recorded six wins and four draws, their memorable home victory being a 2-1 triumph over Mamelodi Sundowns on September 2, the Brazilians’ last loss in all competitions.
They have only suffered one home defeat, the shock 2-1 reverse against second-tier opposition Dondol Stars, in the Nedbank Cup Round of 32 on February 8.
It is that impressive run that has left Matthews disappointed that they will have to vacate the venue.
WHAT DID HE SAY? “Apparently, Caf also did not pass it as a suitable stadium, so that’s a problem,” said Matthews, as per Times Live.
“We are looking at alternative venues. We are talking to Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and Isak Steyl at Vaal University of Technology as two smaller grounds we can maybe use for our last two smaller games, and then see where we can take the Chiefs game.”
“It has been coming for a while. The match commissioners' reports have been quite harsh on Lucas Moripe for the past few months.
“I don’t want to move from that venue. I’ve picked up 25 points there in my 11 games and it has been a strong fortress for us, except for the Nedbank Cup.
“I didn’t want to leave there, but I also want to play in a stadium that is compliant and satisfies the requirements not only for the PSL, but also Caf if we are thinking that in three or four months we will be playing there.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: SuperSport are currently in pole position to finish second a qualify for the Caf Champions League as they enjoy a five-point lead over both Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, who are third and fourth on the table, and will need a suitable venue to host continental matches.
With Matthews hinting that Ellis Park Stadium could host SuperSport’s league clash against Chiefs, it could be one of the options going forward, due to its ability to pull a large crowd.
WHAT’S NEXT? Matthews has a month to find an alternative venue for his side’s home matches since SuperSport are not in action this weekend with their next two matches away to Pirates and Chippa United before they host TS Galaxy on April 7.