CT Stadium CEO answers to allegations City not taking soccer seriously

The much-anticipated Absa Premiership clash between Cape Town City and Soweto giants, Kaizer Chiefs on Tuesday has been moved to Newlands Stadium after it was found the Cape Town Stadium pitch is not playable.

The home team's chairman, John Comitis has already accused stadium management of neglecting soccer - it's not the first time this season that the venue of a home game has had to be moved.

RELATED: Cape Town City and Stellenbosch FC derby moved to Athlone

But Cape Town Stadium chief executive officer Lesley De Reuck says the weather can't be controlled, explaining that four cold fronts just before the start of the football season stunted the growth of the grass.

He says this affects traction which is needed for players to stop and change direction fast enough without risk of injury.

That resulted in the root system not binding and setting as well as it should be and eventually that became a traction problem for us. Safety for the players is uppermost in our minds and even the warm weather we've had in the last week seems to have just been too late to have the desired impact.

Lesley De Reuck, CEO - Cape Town Stadium

It's all to do with how warm the soil is - that allows for quick growth.

Lesley de Reuck, CEO - Cape Town Stadium

De Reuck says even running their "growing lights" system over the three weeks before the season did not have the desired effect on the colder, northern end of the pitch.

The stadium CEO had this to say about the allegations of the City not taking soccer seriously.

Last year we hosted 39 events of which 28 were soccer events.

Lesley de Reuck, CEO - Cape Town Stadium

We've created an opportunity for National First Division clubs to come and play at Cape Town Stadium, we've developed a very specific financial model to make it affordable for them, so believe me we do take soccer seriously.

Lesley de Reuck, CEO - Cape Town Stadium

Unfortunately we can't control the weather, it was a perfect storm that hit us.

Lesley de Reuck, CEO - Cape Town Stadium

For more from de Reuck on making the stadium pay, listen below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : CT Stadium CEO answers to allegations City not taking soccer seriously


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