Soccer lovers in Limpopo have warned Marumo Gallants, which compete in the top-flight Premier Soccer League (PSL), not to switch their home games to North West’s Royal Bafokeng Stadium.

This after Limpopo High Court judge Gerrit Muller reserved his judgment on Friday morning in a matter involving the Polokwane municipality and Marumo Gallants.

The municipality and the football club squared up in court over a disputed contract they signed about the club hosting its home games at the old and new Peter Mokaba stadiums in Limpopo.

The municipality applied for an urgent court interdict to prevent a soccer match between Kaizer Chiefs and Marumo Gallants from going ahead as scheduled at the Royal Bafokeng Sport Palace Stadium on Sunday.

“We are warning Marumo Gallants Football Club not to take the people of Limpopo for granted, because they will face the music,” said Monare Matlala, speaking on behalf of the club’s supporters.

“They must respect us as supporters and not take advantage of us.”

Another soccer fan, Thabo Letsoalo, also warned: “If they don’t want to be our home team, they must go away and not expect our support.”

“We strongly support the Polokwane municipality for dragging them to court.”

The municipality argued in court that the club has signed an agreement to play its home games at either the old or the new Peter Mokaba stadiums.

It said it has already sold more than 3 000 tickets for the Chiefs game and has also advertised the much-anticipated fixture.

The municipality added that if the match is moved to North West’s Royal Bafokent Stadium, the move will have a negative impact on Limpopo’s tourism industry.

But Abram Sello, the owner of Marumo Gallants, asked the court to dismiss the municipality’s application, refuting claims that his club has breached the agreement.

He said the club signed an agreement with the municipality to stage its 15 PSL home fixtures for the 2021/2022 season at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

The matches were played between August 24 2021 and May 7 2022.

“It is Marumo Gallants’ submission that the events [matches], being the 15 fixture list specified in clauses of the agreement, are the only fixtures that Marumo Gallants had an obligation to play at the old or new Peter Mokaba stadia.

“All of the events [matches], being Marumo Gallants 15 home fixtures for the 2021/2022 season, were indeed played at the old or new Peter Mokaba stadia in accordance with the agreement,” read the court papers.

He said the fact that the fixtures were played at the Peter Mokaba stadia does not entitle the municipality the exclusive right to have Gallants play their remaining home fixtures in Limpopo.

Sello further said despite complying with the agreement by playing the 15 fixtures at the stadiums, the municipality committed several breaches, including its failure to honour its 20% contribution as stated in the agreement.

He charged that the municipality also failed to pay Gallants a share of the gate-takings as stipulated in the agreement.

“This led to the respondent losing interest in playing their home games at the applicant’s stadiums,” read the papers.

On realisation that it was not economically viable for Gallants to play their games in Limpopo, Sello negotiated a new deal with Royal Bafokeng Stadium to host Marumo Gallants’ home games in the North West.

The new deal will result in the club receiving 100% gate-takings and an additional sponsorship of R3.5-million from the North West department of sports, arts and culture.

Sello argued further that if the court interdicts Gallants’ game against Chiefs, this will have a negative impact on PSL business, as the game has been advertised already and tickets sold.

He then asked the court to dismiss the application because, according to him, the matter is not urgent.

Sunday World


Categories: Sport

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