The PSL has kicked off and we’ve already had two provincial and a city derby, but I’ll forgive you if you might have missed the fact that those matches were supposed to be rivalries.
There was very little buzz about the bragging rights on offer in these matches as might have been in the past when local stars were the faces and plugs for clubs in the community and media.
Gone are those days and Black Leopards beating Polokwane City 1-0 in the Limpopo derby at Thohoyandou Stadium on Sunday was just another game.
That very same afternoon, Golden Arrows won 1-0 against Maritzburg United at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium and that was a KZN rivalry and nobody made a noise about it.
Meanwhile, on Saturday in Tshwane, Mamelodi Sundowns beat SuperSport United 2-0 at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
It was so one-sided and had the intensity of a cross-town rivalry.
This Saturday, the Cape Town Stadium was set to host an historic first Western Cape derby clash between Cape Town City and newly-promoted Stellenbosch FC.
The match has the makings of a beautiful story and major sporting occasion for the city and province.
This is a clash between the reigning MTN8 Champions and NFD champions.
With both clubs not involved in midweek matches, this was an opportunity for both trophies to be paraded this week in open media days and fan days to create a buzz.
Instead, four days before the match, we received a press release from Cape Town City telling us the match has been moved to Athlone Stadium.
We didn’t sign up for this off-the-field nonsense as fans of the game.
How could the city and province let this happen? Was there no way to sit down and plan ahead for something as big as this?
In the press release, City’s Chairman John Comitis did not hold back, expressing his disappointment in the City of Cape Town authorities and their commitment to the game of the people.
The excuse is that the field is not ready for football after hosting non-football events such as Monster Trucks so close to the new season’s kickoff.
Comitis’s frustration is that football is continuously forced to take a backseat despite being the anchor tenant of the facility.
I’m very interested to hear what the authorities of Safa Cape Town, of which City are members, and Stellenbosch’s Safa Winelands have to say about all this over the coming days as well.
Well, I guess we’ll have to switch things up and start pushing a #FillUpAthloneStadium drive and maybe even consider wearing black t-shirts in a silent protest, to show the city how we as the people feel about all this.
Anyway, I'm sure I’ll see you all at Athlone on Saturday at 6pm.