The unavailability of the West End grounds in Verwoerdpark, because of the missing goalposts as well as the double booking of the venue in certain instances, was proving to be a “big headache”
The Sol Plaatje Local Football Association has been forced to replan its Premier and Promotional League fixtures as result of games that could not be played at the West End field because of equipment that has “gone missing” from the grounds.
LFA treasurer Shorty Thebe yesterday confirmed that the organisation has over a fortnight lost out on staging six fixtures at the West End grounds owing to the unavailability or removal of the goalposts at the grounds.
Thebe said the unavailability of the West End grounds in Verwoerdpark, because of the missing goalposts as well as the double booking of the venue in certain instances, was proving to be a “big headache”.
He added that this problem cropped up in the last fortnight for games which are normally played at weekends.
“This past weekend NC Celtics FC and KEW FC found themselves faced with a West End ground that had no goalposts,” Thebe told the DFA. “The teams summarily decided to change their fixture venue to an open field in Colville where they continued the game some hours later.”
A Santanna Football Club official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the club had, a fortnight ago, paid for a minibus to transport their team to the West End pitch only to find that they could not continue with the game because the poles had been removed.
Nobody from either the league or the proprietors were on hand to assist.
Neither Thebe nor the team official knew by whom and why the goalposts had been removed. Part of the grounds are the property of the Sol Plaatje municipality.
Municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie confirmed that the local authority only owns part of the West End grounds. He said that he was not certain what the arrangements entailed with the local authority and the private club that used the other part of the grounds.
Thebe said the LFA has now approached the regional SAB League administrators with a view to getting them to agree to give the LFA access to their playing turf at the Galeshewe Stadium seeing that their season was about to end.
“We need at least two alternative grounds to accommodate fixtures for the 18 teams in the Promotion League and 16 teams in the Premier League,” Thebe said.
“As of now we are thinking of scheduling games on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays to take up the slack in fixtures.”
Thebe also said they may be able to sort out their fixture backlog as soon as the AR Abass Stadium in Square Hill Park was available after an extended lay-off which was necessary to allow the turf to recover after the military had used the venue as a display area as part of the recent Armed Forces Day in the city.
They were also likely to make use of the grounds of a public school in Kimberley should negotiations be successful, he said.