Home Sport Safa put games on ice as Army ‘invades’ City’s sports fields

Safa put games on ice as Army ‘invades’ City’s sports fields

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The army’s grounds at Diskobolos itself was central to the army drills and would probably be off limits over the weekend

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South African Football Association (Safa) sanctioned games will not take place this weekend as the association will instead accommodate programmes designed by the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) who will observe their Armed Forces Day in the greater Kimberley area during the next week.

Safa regional secretary Ponatshego Mondela yesterday confirmed that the association’s scheduled weekend fixtures will be held in abeyance for the duration of the SA Army drills in Kimberley that runs from today and will officially wrap up on February 23.

Mondela was retracting a Safa schedule of football fixtures which was earlier issued by the provincial office. The Safa schedule had indicated that at least two fixtures would take place in Kimberley at Diskobolos and the AR Abass Stadium this Saturday. Those fixtures have now officially been postponed.

Safa’s regional secretary explained that the majority of Safa affiliate members had not heeded a call to meet ahead of the SANDF drills so as to map out an alternative fixture schedule. He said consequent to that missed meeting the Safa provincial office had not received feedback timeously to reflect the changed situation on the ground.

He confirmed that Safa in the region had by yesterday been involved with other federations with the SANDF where the latter briefed the federations about their sports plans for the week. Mondela said indications were that an army football side will play against a Sol Plaatje XI at a venue to be confirmed.

Mondela said the AR Abass Stadium would be off limits to Safa for a while, perhaps up to September this year. He said this was because they would have to wait for the rehabilitation of the grass on the playing pitch.

They had been advised that the pitch would likely be extensively damaged by heavy army equipment used in the drills.

The army’s grounds at Diskobolos itself was central to the army drills and would probably be off limits over the weekend, he said.